Morgan Stanley Among Those Requiring Employees to Give Proof of COVID Vaccine

Several big banks are now requiring employees to return to the office and provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman expects all employees to be in the office by September.

"If you can go into a restaurant in New York City, you can come into the office," Gorman said at an industry conference this month.

Those who are not vaccinated will be required to work remotely, which could put them at risk of losing their jobs.

Goldman Sachs required most of its employees to return to the office June 14. The company asks everyone to give their vaccine status but does not require proof.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Proof of Vaccine
Morgan Stanley is among several big banks requiring employees to return to the office and provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Above, a person presents his proof of vaccination while standing in line for the Foo Fighters show as Madison Square Garden reopens with the first full-capacity concert since March 2020 on June 20, 2021, in New York City. Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

The return-to-office push has its roots in banking-industry culture. Despite years of observing modernization and digital banking, the industry's top executives still operate under a culture that prizes in-person meetings to carve out deals. This has made banks among the leading industries pushing for employees to return to the office as soon as possible as the pandemic wanes.

"We know from experience that our culture of collaboration, innovation and apprenticeship thrives when our people come together, and we look forward to having more of our colleagues back in the office so that they can experience that once again on a regular basis," Goldman Sachs executives wrote in a memo to employees earlier this month.

This isn't the first time banks have tried to return their employees to the office in the pandemic. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon tried to mandate a return to offices for traders back in September 2020, long before the availability of a vaccine. The experiment lasted less than a week, resulting in several traders becoming infected with COVID.

Morgan Stanley Employees Return to Office
Morgan Stanley is among several big banks requiring employees to return to the office and provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Mark Lennihan/AP Photo