Bank of America Delays Office Return Again With Covid Cases Still Elevated
(Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp. pushed back its return to office for staff in the U.S. again, until at least the fourth week of January, as Covid-19 cases remain escalated nationwide from the highly contagious omicron variant.
The company told employees they can work remotely through at least next week, and until they’re advised it’s time to come back, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The move follows last week’s decision to delay bringing back workers through this week.
A spokesperson for the bank declined to comment.
As coronavirus conditions improve in each market, employees across the U.S. will slowly return to offices on a prioritized basis based on local data and medical guidelines, one of the people said.
Bank of America, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, has stopped short of requiring employees to get vaccinated against Covid-19, but is encouraging staff to get the shots along with boosters before they return to the office. Other companies have taken a stronger stance, with Citigroup Inc. telling workers to get vaccinated or face termination.
Bank of America will host booster clinics for employees across the country starting this month. It has provided staff with on-site testing at some locations, including its New York office, and has a supply of rapid antigen tests at other locations, including bank branches, according to people with knowledge of the plans. Employees also are eligible for wellness credits and time off so they can get vaccinated.
The bank isn’t alone in adjusting its return-to-office plans amid a surge in coronavirus cases in New York and elsewhere. Firms including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are asking staff work from home in the opening weeks of 2022.
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