Over the weekend, New Jersey Nets basketball star Kyrie Irving attended, but could not play in a game against the Knicks because of his vaccination status. The reason he could not play was that the vaccine mandate had been lifted for attendees but not for those working at the arena.
Players called on the mayor of New York to stop the inconsistency, after Irving sat next to the team during the game. Perhaps management at JP Morgan Chase watched the game.
JP Morgan Chase decided it was time to change its policy on Monday, and told its United States employees that the mask mandate will be completely voluntary at work effective immediately. Mandatory testing of unvaccinated workers, along with vaccination requirements for hiring will no longer be in place as of April.
However, the bank still reminded employees in New York that they would still have to abide by the local vaccine mandate. The announcements came almost two years to the day that the bank sent employees home “temporarily”.
An internal memo stated the following:
- Effective immediately, masking in our corporate office buildings will be completely voluntary for both vaccinated and unvaccinated colleagues. There will be employees who choose to wear masks — and that is completely fine.
- On April 4, we will discontinue other measures such as mandatory testing for the unvaccinated, as well as asking employees to report COVID-19 infection and the associated contact tracing and notifications. These steps are in line with CDC guidance.
- We will also discontinue hiring only vaccinated individuals as of April 4.
Maintaining a safe work environment and following local requirements will continue to be a priority. We will keep some of our practices and protocols in place along with our permanently improved air filtration and cleaning standards, namely:
- Our New York City employees must continue to meet vaccination requirements unless the City lifts the order.
- We will continue to offer voluntary testing through complimentary home testing kits.
- We will continue to require responses be entered into the Vaccine Record Tool.
- Our current isolation / quarantine guidelines will remain in effect for now, in line with CDC guidance.
The memo noted that it is possible that the bank would have to reintroduce protocols. The memo did not discuss further policy details that included mandatory verses voluntary attendance in the office.