Rocket Companies, the parent company of America’s top mortgage lender and one of the industry’s biggest employers, will require all of its unvaccinated employees to have weekly COVID-19 tests. The company will also require all unvaccinated employees to wear masks in the office.
The Detroit-headquartered firm said that the new policy would take effect on Aug. 23.
Aaron Emerson, Rocket Companies’ chief communications officer, said in a statement that as of Aug. 23, those who have not yet been fully vaccinated or are two weeks past their final shot will be required to complete weekly tests and immediately begin wearing masks when moving about the office.
“As the Delta COVID variant continues to spread, we will remain vigilant and take every action we deem necessary to protect our people and our hometowns,” he said in the statement.
In all, Rocket Companies, which largely utilizes a call center model, employs about 26,000 people across Detroit, Cleveland, Phoenix and Charlotte (about 19,000 of the workers are based out of Detroit).
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Rocket will provide testing kits to employees who need them. It began phasing employees back to the office in June under a hybrid work-from-home model.
By contrast, Rocket’s largest competitor, United Wholesale Mortgage, hasn’t issued a vaccination requirement to its 9,000 or so employees. The lender has opened its campus in Pontiac as a COVID vaccination distribution site.
COVID-19 cases are surging in numerous states across the U.S., particularly in areas with low vaccination rates. In Wayne County, where Rocket is headquartered, cases are up 42% over the past week.
The ferocity of the COVID-19 Delta variant has sent the financial markets on a rollercoaster in recent weeks. With the falling 10-year Treasury, Mortgage rates have also been plunging. As of Thursday morning, rates on the 30-year-fixed rate mortgage had dropped to 2.77%, lower than during the same period in 2020.
Scores of employers that had planned to reopen offices this summer or in September have pushed back office reopenings.