August 12, 2022

Citigroup announces it will fire all employees who have not been vaccinated

President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate may not withstand a challenge at the U.S. Supreme Court. However, some companies are going ahead on their own anyway.

Citigroup is the first prominent financial institution to demand its employees be vaccinated or face termination, Breitbart reported. Workers not in compliance by next week will be placed on leave without pay until they’re let go at the end of the month.

Those who were given their walking papers were reportedly given a terse message upon their exit. “You are welcome to apply for other roles at Citi in the future as long as you are compliant with Citi’s vaccination policy,” it said.

The company already has about 90% compliance but is going after the rest who refuse the jab, though religious exemptions are allowed. Its workforce is 70,000 strong, so Citigroup’s example could have a ripple effect throughout the industry and beyond.

Besides losing their jobs, employees who would be eligible for year-end bonuses will only be able to collect on them in exchange for a signed statement swearing that they will not pursue legal action against the company. Though mandates have had mixed outcomes in the courts, a legal challenge is a very real prospect.

The Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments on Biden’s national mandate enforced through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for companies with over 100 employees. Though it’s still a question of whether the government can force workers into a medical procedure, private companies may have more leeway.

Other corporations that tried to impose a strict mandate were forced to push their deadlines back after facing employee and public backlash. American Airlines had attempted it back in November but pushed their deadline into the New Year, Fox News reported.

As more people succumb to the omicron variant and others admit that vaccines may not be as effective, it’s difficult to see the wisdom of such mandates. However, private companies are free to act as they please, so there may not be any recourse for terminated employees.

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