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JPMorgan Chase & Co. is no longer allowing junior sales and trading staff to take Uber to work on the company dime, reversing a measure enacted early in the coronvirus pandemic to help workers feel comfortable commuting to the office.
The change was communicated by managers last week, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing an internal policy. The move comes as more of the bank’s workers make plans to resume working at offices in New York and London, with senior traders required to return next week.
JPMorgan started reimbursing employees for Uber and taxi rides to the office for traders below the managing director level right after the pandemic started so they wouldn’t have to use public transportation. Some of the bank’s more senior traders had been walking or driving to work.
With New York officials taking extensive measures to make sure subway cars are clean and safe — including ensuring mask use by riders — some at the bank believe the city’s attempts to return to normalcy warrant a similar return to pre-pandemic policies, according to one of the people briefed on the changes.
JPMorgan spokesman Brian Marchiony declined to comment.
The change in policy is fueling anxiety among many junior workers who are uncomfortable taking the subway and buses, some of the people said. The concern is that, as more companies bring workers back, ridership on public transit will increase, making it less safe at a time when experts are forecasting asignificant increase in Covid-19 cases this fall. Trading floors that will become more crowded as employees return to the office only exacerbate the situation, workers fear.
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