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Bank of America gives WFH employees a Labor Day deadline to return to the office

<i>Chris Keane/Bloomberg/Getty Images</i><br/>
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Chris Keane/Bloomberg/Getty Images

By Alexis Benveniste, CNN Business

Bank of America is encouraging its vaccinated employees to return to the office after Labor Day in September, the company’s CEO Brian Moynihan said in a Bloomberg Television interview Thursday.

After Labor Day, “our view is all the vaccinated teammates will be back,” Moynihan said. “We’ll be able to operate fairly normally and will then start to make provisions for the other teammates as we move through the fall,” he added.

“We encourage employees to enter their vaccination status in the company portal, and we expect the majority of our employees to return after Labor Day,” a spokesperson for Bank of America told CNN Business.

Bank of America isn’t the only big bank focused on getting its employees back into the office. This week, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman said it’s time for the bank’s New York employees to return to work in person now that more people are getting vaccinated for Covid-19.

“If you can go to a restaurant in New York City, you can come into the office. And we want you in the office,” Gorman said. “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.” The CEO added that workers can’t expect to get New York City-level salaries if they continue to work remotely.

And in May, Goldman Sachs asked its US employees who had not already returned to the office to be prepared to do so by June 14, according to a memo obtained by CNN Business.

Legal experts say that employers can mandate getting vaccinated, although federal protections could allow for some exceptions.

Dealing with stress

Decisions to return to work in person come after some Wall Street employees have said they’re fed up with long hours and crushing workloads. Booming markets and seismic changes in the economy have created ample business — and stress — for investment banks during the pandemic, and self-care and mental health have risen to the top of many employees’ priority lists.

In March, Citigroup announced “Zoom-Free Fridays” as a way to help the bank’s burned-out employees cope with stress a year into the pandemic.

Also in March, Goldman Sachs analysts complained about working 95-hour weeks and enduring “inhumane” treatment. In response, the company’s CEO, David Solomon, said the bank will strengthen enforcement of its “Saturday rule” and speed up the hiring of junior bankers. Goldman’s “Saturday rule” mandates that analysts should be out of the office from 9 pm Friday to 9 am Sunday, except in rare circumstances.

— CNN’s Paul La Monica contributed to this report

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