May 30, 2023

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Evercore Tells Employees to Get Boosted As Omicron Surges

  • Evercore told US employees this week to get boosted by February 1 to enter its US offices.
  • The independent investment bank is also asking employees to work from home until at least January 21.
  • It’s the latest Wall Street bank to reinstate remote work and mandate vaccines as Omicron surges.

Elite independent advisory firm Evercore is mandating that employees eligible to receive a booster shot do so by February 1 in order to enter the firm’s US offices, Insider has learned.

The firm is also asking workers to stay home through at least January 21.

It’s the latest Wall Street bank to retreat from its reopening plans in light of a recent staggering surge in COVID-19 infections fueled by the Omicron variant.

Evercore’s new coronavirus protections were announced internally on January 3 via a company memo authored by co-CEOs John Weinberg and Ralph Schlosstein. “Consistent with our goal of doing all we can to protect our employees when they are in the office, we have decided to make boosters mandatory for all who are eligible,” the executives wrote, according to a copy of the memo reviewed by Insider.

“Effective February 1, 2022, all employees and contingent workers who become eligible for the vaccine booster must have been administered the booster,” they said. Employees must then confirm they have received a jab by entering information into a digital health application called emocha in order to enter the firm’s US offices, they added.

New York-area employees were given the option of obtaining booster shots at the firm’s on-site vaccine clinic, acccording to the memo, which listed available appointments over the coming weeks.

Weinberg and Schlosstein referenced the explosion in COVID-19 cases as the reason they were asking employees to work remotely through at least January 21, though added that they will “continue to assess actively this rapidly changing environment.”

“We certainly hope that the landscape begins to improve this month which will allow us to chart our full return to the office,” the executives said.

Employees wishing to enter offices in the meantime will be asked to test daily “and pay close attention to our RTO protocol guidance for items like masks,” the memo added.

A spokesperson for Evercore did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on Wednesday.

The pandemic has thwarted Wall Street’s efforts to return to work at every turn

Wall Street led the charge last year in calling employees back to their desks. But a number of banks have more recently backtracked on those plans amid a staggering surge of the Omicron variant. 

Goldman Sachs, one of the staunchest supporters of in-office work, recently asked employees to work from home until January 18, according to Bloomberg. Citigroup and JPMorgan have taken similar measures.

Jefferies Financial Group became one of the first banks to ask employees to work from home again following a sudden spike in coronavirus infections. 

Richard Handler, the firm’s CEO — who himself was infected by and recovered from COVID-19 last month — said in a memo shared publicly on his Instagram page earlier this week that he did not anticipate a safe return to the office until January 31 at the earliest.

Jefferies is also among a growing number of firms that have ordered employees receive booster jabs to return to the office.

On Wednesday, Bank of America committed to donating $100 for each employee who has registered with the firm that they’ve received a booster shot in order to support local food organizations in combatting hunger, a spokesperson told Insider. CNN earlier reported on the announcement.

The pullback comes as the US shatters its previous records for coronavirus infections. On Monday, the country reported more than one million COVID-19 cases in a single day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. On a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention map charting community spread of the coronavirus, all 50 US states are illustrated in crimson — a sign of widespread transmission.