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US banking firm Citigroup to fire unvaccinated employees this month

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This picture taken on February 08, 2021 shows the logo signage board at a branch of Citibank as seen in the Financial district in New York on February 8, 2021. (File photo by AFP)

A Wall Street firm, Citigroup, has threatened its staff in the United States who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 that they will be fired this month.

All company staff members, who have not been vaccinated by Jan. 14, will be placed on unpaid leave and fired at the end of the month, unless they are granted an exemption on religious or medical grounds, according to a company memo seen by Reuters on Friday.

The major US banking and investment firm announced its plan to impose new vaccination rules in October and now becomes the first major Wall Street institution to follow through with what media refer to as the "no jab, no job" policy.

US tech giant, Google, is another major American corporation that ordered its staff in the United States that they must be either be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the middle of January or face a pay cut and ultimately the loss of their job.

Media reports said Google employees were told they were required to have declared their vaccination status and uploaded proof of it, or to have applied for a medical or religious exemption, by December 3rd.

After the January 18th deadline, Google would start to place unvaccinated employees on “paid administrative leave” for 30 days, followed by six months of “unpaid personal leave”. In the final step, the employee would be fired.

US President Joe Biden announced the government's mandatory vaccine policy targeting healthcare workers, federal employees and big companies in September.

Vaccination has become a divisive issue in the United States, as well as many countries around the world.

Some groups advocating individual rights are fiercely opposed to mandatory vaccines imposed by governments and businesses under the pretext of pursuing public welfare.

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