Goldman Sachs is demanding that bankers and other employees tell the finance company if they are vaccinated before returning to the office.
The investment bank has started to bring back some of its 20,000 US-based employees, with most of the workers due to return by June 14. Employees who had not yet submitted their immunization status received a note earlier this week explaining that “recording your immunization status allows us to plan a safer return to the office for all of our employees as we continue to adhere to local public health measures. “
The memo says it is “mandatory” for workers to indicate whether they obtained their snapshots through a company app before noon on June 10.
Notably, Goldman’s policy regarding the return of office workers does not require them to present theirto prove their status. Rather, the bank effectively asks employees to certify that they have been vaccinated by indicating the dates of vaccination and the manufacturer of the vaccine – information included on the card.
“The middle option that we’ve seen many employers take is to ask for written confirmation that the employee is vaccinated,” said Kaiser Chowdry, employment lawyer at Morgan Lewis, a global law firm. “So you are not asking to see the map, but you are explaining the policy and asking them to certify that they will follow the policy.”
For employers, a more conservative approach would be to require workers to provide proof of vaccination, such as a copy of the vaccination card issued by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most lenient approach would be to rely on a “pure honor system,” Chowdry said. “Communicate any policy change, then tell everyone to follow it. But it carries the most risk, and we are seeing fewer employers taking that option.”
Under United States labor rules, companies are permitted tobefore returning to the office. Employers can also legally as long as they provide reasonable accommodations for employees who are exempt from mandatory immunization under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
The bank does not require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but strongly encourages vaccination among its employees, according to the internal memo.
“While we strongly encourage you to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, we understand that the choice to be vaccinated is a personal choice,” the memo continued, which was obtained by CBS MoneyWatch.
Goldman also said fully vaccinated employees in states that have abandoned mask mandates can go mask-less on company premises. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated employees should continue to wear masks, except when in their desks.