Aug. 6, 2021 -- CNN has fired three employees who came to work without being vaccinated against COVID-19.
"In the past week, we have been made aware of three employees who were coming to the office unvaccinated. All three have been terminated,” Jeff Zucker, the chairman of news and sports for WarnerMedia, said in a staff memo that was partially tweeted by CNN social media writer Oliver Darcy.
“Let me be clear -- we have a zero-tolerance policy on this,” Zucker said.
He reminded the news organization’s staff that vaccines are mandatory for employees in offices or in the field when they meet with other employees, reported the Associated Press, which obtained the memo.
The former workers were not identified. It’s not clear where they worked.
Most CNN offices have reopened on a voluntary basis, with Zucker saying about a third of news staffers have returned, according to the AP. So far, proof of vaccination has been on the honor system, but that may change soon, said Zucker.
He said masks will be required at CNN offices in Atlanta, Washington, and Los Angeles when employees aren’t eating, drinking, or in an enclosed private space, the AP reported.
In offices without mask rules, employees should do what makes them comfortable without fear of retaliation, the memo said.
CNN had been planning to return staff to the office on Sept. 7 but is now changing the date to mid-October, Zucker said.
"I think it is fair to say that we are all feeling a mix of anticipation, anxiety, frustration, confusion, and exasperation … I get it,” Zucker said in the memo, according to Darcy’s tweet.
“Continue to take care of yourselves and each other. And I will share more updates just as soon as we have them."