Kashkari says Minneapolis Fed requiring employees be vaccinated

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis will require its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the bank’s president, Neel Kashkari, said.

“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,” Kashkari said Wednesday in a post on the Minneapolis Fed’s website. “Hence, we need our employees to be vaccinated.”

The announcement comes as vaccination rates have slowed and employers across the country are weighing whether or not to impose such requirements. The Minneapolis Fed will allow exceptions only for “those who cannot get vaccinated due to medical conditions or sincerely held religious beliefs,” and the new policy will go into effect at the end of August, Kashkari said.

“We recognize that if our vaccination rate were lower, say 50%, this would be a more difficult decision,” he said. “But with so many of our employees voluntarily doing their part to keep us safe, asking our remaining colleagues to also do their part just makes sense.”