The American news network CNN has fired three employees for travelling into an office without having been vaccinated against coronavirus.
Jeff Zucker, President of CNN Worldwide, reported news of the staff firing in an internal memo sent on Thursday 5 August, while reminding employees that vaccinations are mandatory if they enter office spaces or come into contact with other employees out in the field.
In the memo, Zucker wrote: ‘Let me be clear - we have a zero tolerance policy on this’. The memo itself was obtained by the Associated Press after its contents were first tweeted by CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy.
The majority of CNN offices are open on a voluntary basis and Zucker noted that more than a third of news staff members had returned to the office. Proof of employee vaccinations has been left to the honour system, though this may soon change according to Zucker.
The memo also states that masks will be required in Atlanta, Washington and Los Angeles offices when employees aren’t eating, drinking or in an enclosed private space. In offices where mask-wearing is not compulsory, people should do what feels comfortable to them ‘without any fear of retaliation or judgement from co-workers’, Zucker said.
As reported by Darcy through his tweets, a 7 September planned company-wide return to offices date has been postponed by CNN to early to mid-October, with Zucker writing that ‘This was not an easy decision, and there is much to consider’.
Google and Facebook recently announced mandatory vaccinations for those returning to offices. The states of New York and California have also introduced a requirement for all government workers to be vaccinated or be subject to regular testing.
In May 2021, the US government stated that it was legal for employers to require staff returning to the workplace to be vaccinated against Covid-19.