The CEO of America’s largest bank has threatened to dismiss about 450 of its New York City-based employees who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
JPMorgan chairman and chief executive Jamie Dimon said this week that employees working at the company’s Manhattan headquarters cannot come to the office if they have not received their jabs, adding those who remain unvaccinated will not have the option to work remotely indefinitely.
‘To go to the office you have to be vaxxed and if you aren’t going to get vaxxed you won’t be able to work in that office,’ Dimon, who has advocated for in-person work throughout the pandemic, said Monday on CNBC’s The Exchange.
‘And we’re not going to pay you not to work in the office.’
The company has approximately 15,000 employees in NYC and about 97 percent of Manhattan office staff have received their jabs, according to Dimon – leaving approximately 450 unvaccinated.
JPMorgan Chase is one of several companies, including banking giant Citigroup and Facebook parent company Meta, that mandated vaccinations to work in the office. Citigroup has taken it a step further with their ‘no jab, no job’ policy.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon announced Monday that unvaccinated staff at the company’s New York City headquarters ‘won’t be able to work in that office and we’re not going to pay you not to work in the office’
The banking behemoth opened its Manhattan offices only to vaccinated employees in December, per the city’s mandate requirements passed by then-Mayor Bill de Blasio before leaving office.
A company spokesperson told DailyMail.com Wednesday that JPMorgan has not issued a broad policy change stating workers must be vaccinated to maintain employment.
The spokesperson noted that Dimon’s comments reflect something that could ‘potentially happen.’
JPMorgan does, however, encourage employees to get vaccinated and boosted, the spokesperson said, and has its NYC offices open to those who have their jabs and want to come in.
In other offices nationwide, they are administering COVID tests twice weekly to unvaccinated individuals.
The banking giant does ‘expect everyone to return to their in-office schedule no later than February 1,’ per a company memo. But, the spokesperson said the organization is being flexible with employees during this transition.
The push for vaccination comes as the United States, and New York, report a surge in infections largely due to the Omicron variant. Experts predict the variant will reach its peak in the coming weeks and then decline.
Dimon, who just last month instructed unvaccinated staff in New York City to work from home in compliance with the city’s workplace vaccination requirement, continues to urge staff to get their shots.
The CEO has routinely argued against remote work, saying it isn’t effective long-term, and believes employees benefit from the in-person environment.
‘We believe that going to work is a good thing — that people deal with each other for innovation and creativity and just humanity, is a good thing,’ he said.
He has also previously said the ‘accelerated trend’ of working from home ‘does not work for younger people,’ CBS News reported. Dimon argued that the ‘spontaneous idea generation’ and ‘those who want to hustle’ benefit from the daily mentorship of senior colleagues.
Although he plans to end the work from home culture, Dimon did say he plans to offer flexibility to his employees.
‘To go back to work, of course, you have more hybrid and more flexibility as long as it works for the clients,’ he told CNBC.
‘Let’s get back and we’ll find ways to get to flexibility that makes sense and the tools that do that and so, I’m quite comfortable — life, airflows look a lot like life did before.’
The CEO has routinely argued against remote work, saying it isn’t effective long-term, and believes employees benefit from the in-person environment (Pictured: JPMorgan headquarters in New York City, April 2019)
Although he plans to end the work from home culture, Dimon (pictured in June 2021) did say he plans to offer flexibility to his employees. He also noted the company does not have a blanket vaccine policy as laws vary in different states and countries
He also noted the company, which has over 265,000 employees worldwide, does not have a blanket vaccine policy as laws vary in different states and countries.
‘We’re not trying to be consistent because as you pointed out, there are different laws and different requirements and cities and states and schools and so here we’re adjusting locally,’ Dimon told CNBC.
‘It doesn’t have to be the same everywhere. So, as buildings get to 95 percent and 97 percent vaxxed in certain states, they may end up with a different policy than a different state. And that’s fine, too. We’re not looking for nirvana here — you’re not going to find it.’
Dimon’s push for in-person work should not come as a surprise to employees as he has long been an opponent to work from home.
In fact, when JP Morgan issued a memo in December instructing unvaccinated workers to stay home, the company pushed for employees to get their shots.
‘We continue to agree with health authorities that being vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe – especially as we face the winter months and a new variant – so please consider getting vaccinated if you aren’t already, and getting your booster if you are,’ the memo said.
‘We are taking this step because we have very high rates of vaccination amongst our employees. With rates well above 90 percent, it seems unfair to require our vaccinated employees to wear masks all day at their desks, and would be a step that would slow the progress we’ve already made towards business normalcy.’
JPMorgan Chase is currently trading at $168.83 per share
Dimon’s remarks about termination follow big announcements surrounding vaccine mandates from Citigroup, the fourth-largest bank in the US, and Facebook.
On Monday, Citigroup demanded that employees get their vaccines by the end of this week or they would be at risk of losing their jobs. Exemptions would be available to employees with qualifying medical conditions or religious beliefs.
A source familiar with Citigroup’s vaccine policy told CBS: ‘Complying with the requirement means either submitting proof of vaccination by the January 14 deadline or receiving an approved medical or religious accommodation or state-permitted exemption.’
The official also said the January 14 deadline does not apply to staff at bank branches. Policies may vary by location.
On the contrary, America’s second largest bank, Bank of America, does not have a vaccine mandate, a spokesperson confirmed to DailyMail.com Wednesday.
However, the company ‘strongly encourages employees to get fully vaccinated, including booster’.
Bank of America announced last week it would donate $100 for every US employee who either enters their booster information or gets boosted by the end of January to help fight hunger across the US. Additionally, the company will be hosting several onsite booster clinics for employees in several markets across the country beginning this month.
Wells Fargo, another banking giant, took a similar approach telling DailyMail.com: ‘We strongly encourage employees to consider getting the COVID-19 vaccine, but we are not currently requiring it, except where legally required. All employees must either document that they are fully vaccinated or test regularly.’
Like Citigroup, Facebook has joined the growing list of companies to tell its employees to stay home – through at least the end of March – and will require its workers to get a booster shot before returning to the office.
Meta, the parent company of the social media giant, announced Tuesday it is delaying its return to US offices until March 28 and became one of the first American company’s to demand proof of a booster shot from on-site workers as the Omicron variant courses through the nation.
JPMorgan Chase is one of several companies, including banking giant Citigroup and Facebook parent company Meta, that has implemented an office vaccination mandate. Citigroup – like JPMorgan – has taken it a step further with their ‘no jab, no job’ policy
Facebook has told employees not to return to their offices until March 28 and they must have a booster shot when they do come back
Skyrocketing COVID cases led to Meta’s decision to keep its workers at home for another two months.
‘We’re focused on making sure our employees continue to have choices about where they work given the current COVID-19 landscape,’ Meta’s Vice President of Human Resources Janelle Gale told CNN Business in a statement. She said the booster mandate will give employees ‘more time to choose what works best for them.’
‘We understand that the continued uncertainty makes this a difficult time to make decisions about where to work.’
Meta employees have until March 14 to decide to work in the office, work full-time remotely or temporarily from home for another 3-to-5 months.
The move comes as most of corporate America and Wall Street have asked employees not to come to the office this month, with COVID-19 cases in the United States repeatedly break new daily records.
Health officials claim the vaccines have helped prevent hospitalizations and deaths – which were only up ten percent over the past two weeks – but infections continue to surge with the Omicron variant.
In New York City alone, health department officials are reporting a seven-day average of 40,116 cases, with 28,632 new infections reported Tuesday.
Statewide, New York has seen a seven-day average of 73,546 cases.
COVID cases in the US have surged in recent weeks, up by 185% over the past two weeks. Some experts believe the rapid surge in cases will lead to the variant running out of steam soon and reaching its peak before receding
The US is currently averaging 750,515 new cases every day, the second highest daily average recorded in the pandemic so far – only trailing the figure recorded Tuesday of 767,200
While cases in the US have quickly grown, deaths have not followed. Around 1,700 Americans are dying from COVID every day, only a 10% jump over the past two weeks, and nowhere near records set last winter
In New York, health officials are reporting a seven-day average of 73,546 cases
Statewide, about 72% of eligible New Yorkers have been vaccinated against the coronavirus. The state has administered 35,278,097 doses and 14,126,890 people are fully vaccinated
The US is currently averaging 750,515 new cases every day, the second highest daily average recorded in the pandemic so far – only trailing the figure recorded Tuesday of 767,200.
While it is a long way from the 264,546 cases being average two weeks ago at the end of January, case growth is already starting to slow day to day.
For now, though, the surge continues across the US. Cases are up 185 percent over the past two weeks. Hospitalizations are reaching record levels as well, with 140,641 people in the hospital with COVID every day.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease and the country’s top infectious disease expert, said Tuesday the variant will eventually infect almost everyone in America.
‘Omicron, with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility, will ultimately find just about everybody,’ Fauci said
‘Those who have been vaccinated … and boosted would get exposed. Some, maybe a lot of them, will get infected but will very likely, with some exceptions, do reasonably well in the sense of not having hospitalization and death.’
Fauci, along with many other health officials are still recommending for all Americans to get vaccinated and boosted if they have not already. While around 1,700 Americans are still dying from the virus every day, almost all deaths are among unvaccinated people, and the shots are highly effective at mitigating any complications even after infection.