Citigroup released a statement this week that unvaccinated employees could lose their job at the end of the month. The “No-Jab, No-Job” policy could affect up to 10 percent of the company’s workforce.
Many companies want to return to their brick-and-mortar offices soon. Most companies have worked remotely since the pandemic began in 2020. But the Omicron variant is putting those plans in jeopardy. Many employees don’t want their employers making medical decisions on their behalf.
The Supreme Court is currently hearing a similar case right now.
“This is going to be a challenging and complex policy to implement. The problem here is there are a variety of different laws that weigh in on this,” said Chase Hattaway, a partner at law firm RumbergerKirk, per Reuters. He noted there is a patchwork of state and local laws that companies such as Citigroup will need to navigate.
“Citi will have to tailor its policy to state legislation, and in many cases, cities and municipalities will have different regulations as well, that may require even further carve-outs,” Hattaway said.
Citigroup is giving employees until Jan. 14 to comply. The company will then place non-vaccinated employees on administrative unpaid leave. Citigroup will terminate any unvaccinated employees after January 31, Bloomberg said.
“You are welcome to apply for other roles at Citi in the future as long as you are compliant with Citi’s vaccination policy,” the company said in the message.
Supreme Court Could Block Biden’s Vaccine’s Mandate
Justices Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer both addressed the issue. They seemed to think that the risk of Omicron was too high and allowed for emergency powers.
“It’s an extraordinary use of emergency power occurring in an extraordinary circumstance. A circumstance that this country has never faced before,” Justice Elena Kagan said, noting that the rule is “most geared” to stopping the spread of COVID-19.
“I would think the workplace risk is about the greatest, least-controllable risk with respect to COVID that any person has,” Kagan told Flowers later in the proceeding. “Where else do people have a greater risk than at the workplace?”
But newest Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a right-leaning hardliner, worried the ruling could be too broad.
“The problem here is its scope and that there is no differentiation between the risk faced by unvaccinated 22-year-olds and unvaccinated 60-year-olds or industries?” she asked Scott Keller, who argued on behalf of the National Federation of Independent Business.