Three Local Banks Require COVID-19 Vaccinations for Employees
* Updated August 6, 2:07 PM
Three Hawaiʻi banks–Bank of Hawaii, First Hawaiian Bank and Territorial Savings Bank–announced today that effective Sept. 30, they will require employees to show proof of full vaccination or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. The announcement points to an “alarming increase in COVID-19 cases” in the state of Hawaiʻi.
Under the new policy, the financial institutions will cover the COVID-19 test cost for non-vaccinated employees undergoing weekly testing.
Employees may submit requests for exemptions due to legitimate religious or medical reasons. Individuals granted exemptions will still be required to comply with regular COVID-19 testing and other preventative requirements.
“As one of Hawaiʻi’s largest employers, First Hawaiian Bank is committed to ensuring that we provide a safe and healthy environment for our employees and customers,” said Bob Harrison, First Hawaiian Bank Chairman, President and CEO. “COVID-19 vaccinations are a key component to minimizing the impact of the virus, and we see this as an opportunity for us to quickly assist the State in reaching the vaccination levels needed to support the health of the communities we serve and move our economy forward.”
This comes following similar vaccine requirement announcements announced for state and county workers, state House members, and student athletes, staff and volunteers:
- State & County Workers: On Thursday, Governor David Ige announced that all state and county employees are required to provide their vaccination status to their department, office or agency. If they cannot provide proof of vaccination by Aug. 16, they will be subject to regular COVID-19 testing.
- State House Members: Also on Thursday, the state House announced it would be implementing a vaccine requirement for members and staff by Sept. 30, 2021.
- Student Athletes, Staff, Volunteers: On Wednesday, the state Department of Education announced all student-athletes, athletic staff and volunteers will need to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 24, 2021, to participate in school-sanctioned athletic activities for the 2021-22 school year.
- Three Hawaiʻi banks: Bank of Hawaii, First Hawaiian Bank and Territorial Savings Bank–announced that effective Sept. 30, they will require employees to show proof of full vaccination or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.
- Maui Healthcare Providers Join in Announcing COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate: Kīhei-Wailea Medical Center and Maui Medical Group have joined Maui Health, which includes Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Lānaʻi Community Hospital, in mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for all eligible employees and providers. All health care entities will follow their company vaccine mandate policy, which will include exemptions for a medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief that prohibits someone from receiving the vaccine.
Meantime, a spokesperson with American Savings Bank said that it is considering mandatory vaccinations for teammates, but are collecting feedback first.
“At ASB, we are fortunate to have a high teammate vaccination rate. It’s important to us that we do our part to protect public health and prevent further strains on our health care system. We are considering mandatory vaccinations, but as we do with any big initiative, we are gathering feedback from our teammates first before we make a decision,” said Beth Whitehead, American Savings Bank, Executive Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer. “We care deeply about the health and welfare of the people of Hawaiʻi and are committed to doing whatever it takes to end the pandemic.”