JPMorgan Reportedly Sends NYC Workers Home As Employee Tests Positive For COVID-19


A JPMorgan equities trading employee tested positive for COVID-19, according to Bloomberg, leading the bank to send some Manhattan workers home ahead of a planned return to the office next week for more workers at the banking giant.

Key Facts

The employee reportedly worked on the fifth floor of JPMorgan’s 383 Madison Ave. building, according to Bloomberg, citing an anonymous person who knew of the matter, which was not public prior to Tuesday.

JPMorgan employees were told on Sunday about their colleague testing positive for the coronavirus, Bloomberg reported.

The reported infection comes ahead of orders from JPMorgan’s C-suite for their senior sales and trading employees to return to the office September 21.

Bloomberg reported Monday that JPMorgan’s worker productivity plummeted among younger workers at the beginning and end of each workweek, citing an analyst note, but a bank spokesperson later clarified that the productivity hit was observed across the workforce.

The reported COVID-19 infection highlights concerns about bringing people back together in shared spaces, as the Wall Street Journal reported colleges returning to in-person classes have struggled to contain outbreaks among students.

JPMorgan spokesman Brian Marchiony told Forbes he couldn’t comment on any one [coronavirus] case but that the bank has been “managing individual cases across the firm over the course of the last few months and following appropriate protocols when they occur.”

Big Number

50%. That’s how much of its Manhattan workforce JPMorgan wants to bring back to its offices, according to Bloomberg.

Crucial Quote

“Going back to work is a good thing,” JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said during a virtual panel discussion on Tuesday, adding that “a lot more damage” can be caused by people staying home. The bank’s offices “are clean,” and “We’ve got social distancing,” he said. 

Key Background

JPMorgan previously weathered a coronavirus outbreak on the same floor in the same building in April. According to the WSJ, the bank’s return-to-work orders are meant to signal that the office is safe. Employees were reportedly given new guidelines on safety protocol, like hand-washing, featuring animated people wearing masks. There are two types of employee exempt from going back to the office: people with childcare issues, or people with medical conditions that would make them more vulnerable to coronavirus or the disease’s complications. The Centers for Disease Control and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have also released guidance for non-essential businesses and workers.

Further Reading

JPMorgan Sends Some Traders Home After Worker Contracts Covid-19 (Bloomberg)

JPMorgan Top Brass Tell Trading-Floor Staff to Come Back to the Office (Wall Street Journal)

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