Blackstone Inc., the world’s largest alternative asset manager, is requiring its employees in the United States to get COVID-19 booster shots to work in the office, a spokesperson confirmed to Bloomberg.
Workers must get the booster shots “as soon as practically possible,” a spokeswoman said Wednesday. Office workers will need to be tested for the virus on-site three times a week, they added.
Employees at the New York-headquartered company are set to return to offices full-time on Jan. 28 after the company pushed back its original return-to-office deadline of Jan. 18 in light of increasing COVID-19 cases.
The Epoch Times has contacted a Blackstone spokesperson for comment.
Blackstone’s decision to mandate that its U.S. employees get the booster shots comes shortly after JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon appeared to signal that New York employees who are not vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 may be terminated if they refuse to comply with the company’s vaccination requirements.
“If you aren’t going to get vaxxed, you won’t be able to work in that office,” Dimon told Reuters on Monday. “We’re not going to pay you not to work in the office,” Dimon said. “We want people to get vaccinated.”
When questioned as to whether or not JPMorgan Chase might implement a future policy that would allow employees to work between both home and the office, Dimon said, “We don’t have to answer this right away.”
JPMorgan Chase did not respond to comment from The Epoch Times.
Earlier this month, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which is also headquartered in New York City, changed its return-to-office plans for employees and asked eligible U.S. staff to work from home until Jan. 18 in light of the surge in case numbers driven by the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
Those employees returning to Goldman Sachs would also need to get a COVID-19 booster shot, if eligible, by Feb. 1 in order to enter the company premises.
As of Jan. 11, New York has reported 58,770 positive COVID-19 cases, 12,671 hospitalizations, and 166 new deaths, Those figures, while still high are a far cry from the high rates reported in recent weeks.
According to Governor Kathy Hochul, 85.6 percent of all New Yorkers have at least one vaccine dose and a total of 34,611,241 doses have been administered.
“The data we are seeing on new infections offers a glimmer of hope that New Yorkers’ discipline in fighting the winter surge is paying off,” Hochul said in a statement. “We are getting through this, but we must stay vigilant and not take our hard-won progress for granted.”
A string of other banks have also implemented such mandates for employees, including Citigroup, who last year announced that all U.S. employees would need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. At the time, the bank said that employees had to submit proof of vaccination by Jan. 14, although the company requested that workers comply with the mandate by December.
Biden in September 2021 announced that businesses with 100 or more employees were required to ensure all workers have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing.
On Monday, that mandate went into effect across the nation, despite the Supreme Court having yet to make a decision on the rule, which is being challenged by a number of business groups and states across the United States.