The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis will require all of its 1,100 employees to be vaccinated by the end of August.
In an open letter, President and CEO Neel Kashkari said more than 82% of employees have already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
While 90% of staff moved remote at the beginning of the pandemic last March, the reserve will now reintroduce in-person work. That requires all employees to receive a vaccine, he said.
Employees with medical conditions that prevent them from receiving the vaccine are exempt.
“Simply put, while we will enjoy more flexibility in where we work going forward, we are not going to be a fully remote institution,” Kashkari wrote.
“In order to fulfill our public-service mission, we need more face-to-face contact than remote work allows, but there is no way for us to bring a critical mass of our staff back into our facilities and maintain social distancing. Hence, we need our employees to be vaccinated.”
Most of the remaining 18% of employees who have not been vaccinated have not told the reserve that they plan to, and some have indicated they do not intend to be vaccinated, Kashkari said.
Returning to in-person work without a fully vaccinated staff puts employees at “unnecessary risk” given outbreaks worldwide, he said.
Guidance from the federal government has stated that the Equal Employment Opportunity laws do not prevent employers from requiring the COVID-19 vaccine to return to work.