CNN has fired three employees for entering its New York headquarters without being vaccinated for protection against COVID-19, in a move to underscore its seriousness about the outbreak of the virus, which has been declared as a pandemic by the Word Health Organizationtion (WHO).
This was disclosed in a memo from the cable news network’s President, Jeff Zucker, said to have been sent to CNN staff on Thursday August 5, as the new wave of the pandemic has continued to cause panic in different countries.
It said in part: “In the past week, we have been made aware of three employees who were coming to the office unvaccinated. All three have been terminated. Let me be clear — we have a zero-tolerance policy on this,” added the memo. You need to be vaccinated to come to the office. And you need to be vaccinated to work in the field, with other employees, regardless of whether you enter an office or not. Period.”
The names of the dismissed employees were not revealed, according to two staffers at the WarnerMedia unit. Vaccinated employees have been allowed to return to CNN offices voluntarily.
WarnerMedia Passcard requires employees to attest to vaccinations, but showing vaccine cards has not been mandatory.
Zucker wrote that the return date “no longer feels appropriate” given the rise in Covid cases across the country. He projected a new return date of mid-October.
“We always said that we would be flexible with our decisions on all of this – as evidenced by the recent change to the Atlanta date,” he wrote. “This is another example of that. As new information is made available, we are constantly evaluating our decisions.”
Zucker also said that employees in Washington, Los Angeles and Atlanta would be required to wear masks in the office. He wrote that “it goes without saying that even in places that we don’t mandate it, anyone who wants to wear a mask should absolutely do so. These decisions can be very personal for people – no two situations are the same. Everyone should do what feels most comfortable for them, without any fear of retaliation or judgment from co-workers.”