It pays to be vaccinated, and for employees of Maine’s largest state-chartered bank, the benefits go beyond protection from COVID-19. 

Bangor Savings Bank announced Thursday that it will pay $500 to employees who are fully vaccinated. The company is not requiring its 1,100-plus workers to get the vaccine, but it does hope to incentivize the shot for anyone considering it, officials said in a news release. 

Bangor Savings is the first Maine business to publicly offer cash in exchange for getting vaccinated, a “bold” move the company hopes will “help the region rid itself of this insidious disease.” 

That said, the bank is not the only employer trying to sweeten the deal for its workers or the public. 

Maine state employees were told Monday that the Mills administration will authorize up to two hours of administrative leave for each vaccination appointment for executive branch employees if their appointment falls during regularly scheduled work hours. 

Some national companies have taken a similar approach. 

According to CNN, Amtrak and Trader Joe’s both recently announced the equivalent of two hours of regular wages for employees who can show proof of vaccination.

Dollar General has offered to pay employees for four hours of work once vaccinated, and Target has offered the same deal to compensate employees who may have to take time off, as well as up to $15 each way for workers who take a Lyft to their appointment. 

More will likely follow suit, and some may mirror Bangor Savings’ approach to offer an extra bit of encouragement.

In a survey from Blackhawk Network, a company in the prepaid gift card and branded payments industry, more than two-thirds of those responding said they would accept a monetary incentive ranging anywhere from $10 to $1,000 or more. About one-third said they would complete the vaccination process for an incentive of $100 or less. 


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