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Opinion
Timothy L. O'Brien

Citi Shows Leadership by Enforcing Vaccine Mandate

Doing the right thing in business means protecting workers and customers — and helping end the pandemic.

Leadership in the pandemic.

Leadership in the pandemic.

Photographer: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Last October, Citigroup Inc. told about 70,000 of its employees to get Covid-19 vaccinations or lose their jobs. Today, the banking giant made good on that promise, telling its staff that any who remain unvaccinated by Jan. 14 will be placed on unpaid leave and then lose their jobs at month’s end.

“As it has become crystal clear that COVID-19 will not be going away any time soon, our leadership at Citi has thought long and hard about how we navigate the latest stages of the pandemic,” Sara Wechter, Citi’s human resources director noted in an October memo, citing two reasons for the bank’s decision. “First, as the U.S. government is a large and important client of Citi, we have an obligation to comply with the Executive Order issued by the White House mandating that individuals supporting government contracts be fully vaccinated — an order that would impact the vast majority of our U.S. colleagues. Second, having a vaccinated workforce enables us to ensure the health and safety of our colleagues as we return to the office in the U.S.”