CNN has dismissed three employees for entering its New York headquarters without being vaccinated for protection against COVID-19, according to a memo from the cable news network’s president.
“In the past week, we have been made aware of three employees who were coming to the office unvaccinated,” said the memo sent to CNN staff on Thursday and obtained by the Times.
“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.
They have used the honour system to confirm their vaccination status through the company’s pass-card system and have not been asked to show proof.
Mr Zucker disclosed that might change in the weeks ahead, revealing that CNN “is delaying a formal return date to the office,” located at Hudson Yards on the west side of Manhattan.
Employees were expected to return on September 7, but due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, largely caused by unvaccinated persons, the date was pushed to mid-October.
Companies throughout the country are taking a harder line on allowing unvaccinated individuals to work. More than 150 people at Houston Methodist resigned or were sacked after the hospital system required a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment.
A number of media organisations, including CBS News, where staffers work closely side by side, require visitors to show proof of vaccination before entering a company facility.
About a third of CNN’s news personnel are working on-site after more than a year of working remotely because of the pandemic. Employees are allowed to return to the office two weeks after completing the vaccination process.