Goldman Sachs Requires All Employees to Report Vaccination Status
Employees will be asked to record the date they received their shots and the maker of the vaccine they received.
Goldman Sachs requires its U.S. employees to report their vaccination status.
Outside Goldman Sachs headquarters in Manhattan. The bank is requiring all of its employees in the United States to log their vaccination status in the bank’s system.Credit…Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters
June 10, 2021, 7:51 a.m. ET
Goldman Sachs wants to know how many of its employees have gotten a Covid-19 shot. The bank sent a memo this week informing employees in the United States that they had until noon on Thursday to report their vaccination status.
“Registering your vaccination status allows us to plan for a safer return to the office for all of our people as we continue to abide by local public health measures,” said a section of the memo, which was sent to employees who had not yet reported their status and was obtained by the DealBook newsletter.
Disclosing vaccination status had been optional at the bank. In May, Goldman told employees that they could go maskless in the Manhattan office if they reported that they had been inoculated.
Now, all Goldman employees in the United States, regardless of whether they choose to wear a mask while in the office, will need to log their status in the bank’s internal app for employees. The app does not ask for proof of vaccination, but it does require employees to record the date they received their shots and the maker of the vaccine. Employees who falsify records will be subject to discipline, including termination of employment. Goldman has also informed employees through the app that their vaccination status may be shared with managers and used for planning.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission made clear this month that it is legal to ask employees for their vaccination status so long as firms kept medical records confidential.
Employers are allowed to share vaccination status “with certain individuals if it’s relevant to the individual’s responsibilities, but they can’t share for no reason,” said Jessica Kuester, who specializes in benefits at the law firm Ogletree Deakins.
Goldman has roughly 20,000 employees based in the United States at its New York headquarters and in cities such as San Francisco and Dallas.
Companies across the country are trying to find out how many workers are vaccinated ahead of full office reopenings. They have conducted surveys, given out cash rewards upon proof of vaccination or, like Goldman, made reporting compulsory.
“It’s important to have data to make data-informed decisions,” said Johnny Taylor, chief executive of the Society for Human Resource Management. He acknowledged that some may “grimace” at the idea of employers pushing for information like vaccine status.
Understanding what portion of their work force is vaccinated can help companies decide whether to try new incentives for employees to be vaccinated or consider a mandate. Goldman said in its memo that it “strongly encourages” vaccination, though the choice “is a personal one.” The Wall Street firm, which is bringing the majority of its workers back to the office this month, has been offering employees paid time off to get the shots.
“The big focus right now is we’ve got to get people vaccinated — we’ve got to get to the other side,” David Solomon, Goldman Sachs’s chief executive, told Bloomberg in January. Mr. Solomon has called working from home an “aberration.”
Several of Mr. Solomon’s rivals across Wall Street, including Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s chief executive, have been critical of remote work given the industry’s focus on in-person training and client solicitation. Mr. Dimon said in May that remote work “doesn’t work for those who want to hustle.”
JPMorgan, which opened all of its U.S. offices last month, has encouraged employees in its U.S. corporate offices who want to go mask-free to report their vaccine status. Bank of America has told bankers and traders who want to come in to the office that they may self-report their vaccination status on the bank’s internal portal. Neither bank has mandated vaccines.
“We started to bring vaccinated employees back,” Brian Moynihan, Bank of America’s chief executive, said in a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee on May 27.
“We had about 50,000 teammates that put the information in and give us the ability to call them back and have them work. In New York City in particular, that’s starting take place,” he said.