Despite SCOTUS ruling, Citigroup meets Friday vaccination deadline

Despite Thursday’s landmark Supreme Court ruling blocking the enforcement of a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for companies with 100 or more employees, Wall Street giant Citigroup nevertheless intends to move forward. with its plan to fire employees who don’t meet Friday’s vaccination deadline, FOX Business has confirmed.

Citi, one of the world’s largest financial services companies, initially announced its vaccination requirement in October, before reiterating that position in a memo to company employees this month.

Those unvaccinated by Friday’s deadline will be placed on unpaid leave and laid off at the end of the month unless they are given alternative accommodation, according to earlier reports.

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All of this, of course, came before the Court’s 6-3 decision on Thursday — with the three liberal justices dissenting — to block the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule that entered effective Monday.

The nine members of the United States Supreme Court are seen April 23, 2021. Seated from left to right are Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer and Associate Justice Sonia Sotom (Associated Press / AP Newsroom)

Citi, however, acknowledged that the US policy would remain in place, while touting compliance by the vast majority of the company.

“A few months ago, we announced that US co-workers had to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or granted housing by January 14. One day before the deadline, we reached 99% compliance. This level compliance helps us create a safer workplace, protect your families and our communities, and ensure the continuity of our business operations,” wrote Sara Wechter, chief human resources officer at Citi, in a LinkedIn position Thursday evening.

“This level of compliance helps us create a safer workplace, protect your families and our communities, and ensure the continuity of our business operations.”

– Sara Wechter, Citi Human Resources Manager

The Supreme Court’s ruling caused dismay in the Biden administration, with President Biden, press secretary Jen Psaki and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh all expressing their frustration, while advocating for companies to enforce mandates to vaccination similar to those of Citi.

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“I call on business leaders to immediately join those who have already stepped up – including one-third of Fortune 100 companies – and institute vaccination requirements to protect their workers, customers and communities,” he said. Biden said in a statement.

Some Capitol Hill lawmakers disagreed with that position, imploring the administration to take an alternative approach.

When told of Citi’s plans on “Ingraham’s Angle” On Thursday night, U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., expressed his displeasure.

“These mandates don’t even exist anymore. The purpose is apparently simply to punish anyone who strays from the Democratic Party line.”

– US Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

“This is very disappointing news. … It’s also really unnecessary. These mandates don’t even make sense anymore. The purpose is apparently just to punish anyone who strays from the Democratic Party line,” Cotton said.

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Still, Cotton expressed hope that companies laying off employees because of their vaccine status would reconsider.

“I hope Citi and any company that fires people — or threatens to fire people — because of their medical choice will reconsider that decision,” Cotton added.

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