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Morgan Stanley bars unvaccinated clients and staff from its New York offices

Companies allowed to require COVID vaccines
Companies are allowed to require COVID vaccines, EEOC says 05:32

At investment bank Morgan Stanley, customers come first — so long as they have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Beginning next month, vaccination will be mandatory for the bank's staffers, contingent workers, clients and visitors — effectively everyone who wishes to enter Morgan Stanley's offices in New York City and suburban Westchester County, a source familiar with the matter confirmed Wednesday.

In particular, the thousands of employees who work in the bank's Manhattan headquarters must certify they've been jabbed if they wish to work alongside their colleagues starting July 12. Bank clients and vendors also will need to certify they are vaccinated to enter the premises.

The stringent vaccination policy will allow the bank to lift mask mandates and social-distancing protocols to achieve a more normal work and customer environment, according to the source. 

Anyone who is not vaccinated will continue to conduct business virtually. 

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Office workers and clients need not present their vaccination record cards to prove their status. Rather, the bank is relying on a sort of honor system in its asking whether people have been vaccinated. Investment bank Goldman Sachs has adopted a similar approach, requiring workers to indicate the dates and maker of the vaccine they received via a company app. 

Everyone back by Labor Day

Morgan Stanley is seen as taking a harder line approach than some other Wall Street employers in ordering its workers back to the physical office as more Americans become vaccinated and the COVID-19 virus ebbs. CEO James Gorman said at a recent annual conference that he expects nearly all of the bank's workers back at its headquarters by Labor Day.

"I'll be very disappointed if people haven't found their way into the office and then we'll have a different kind of conversation," Gorman said. 

He also noted that among the staffers who've already returned to the Morgan Stanley's Times Square headquarters, at least 90% are vaccinated. 

It is legal for Morgan Stanley to bar unvaccinated individuals from its offices to ensure a safe workplace, so long as the firm provides reasonable accommodations for individuals with either a disability or "sincerely held" religious belief that prevents them from getting inoculated, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency charged with enforcing laws against workplace discrimination.  

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