In one of the first known cases of a major U.S. company firing employees for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine, three employees of CNN have been fired after the network was made aware that they had been coming to work despite not having received the shot.
CNN President James Zucker issued a memo to employees which stated that the company has a “zero-tolerance policy” on COVID-19 vaccinations.
While CNN announced last year that they were requiring staffers receive the vaccine in order to come into work in its American offices, The New York Times notes, this had so far been enforced by an honor system.
“In the past week, we have been made aware of three employees who were coming to the office unvaccinated. All three have been terminated,” Zucker wrote in an internal company memo that was obtained by The New York Times. “Let me be clear — we have a zero-tolerance policy on this.”
It is not clear how the network determined that the employees were not vaccinated, nor where they worked or what their jobs were. CNN would not provide any comment beyond the memo.
However, it sounds like the network is planning to tighten up their measures to ensure all employees are vaccinated.
“We expect that in the weeks ahead, showing proof of vaccination may become a formal part” of allowing employees access to the network’s offices, Zucker said.
The New York Times notes that while several major companies, such as Google, Facebook, and The Washington Post, have announced they will require vaccination, but it has not been clear in most cases what actions will be taken to enforce this, nor what repercussions employees could face if they do not comply.
Roughly 70% of U.S. adults have received the COVID-19 vaccination, according to the CDC. Vaccination requirements have become a hotly contested political issue as issues surrounding religious and personal liberty, as well as the rights of employers, have arisen as both the private and public sectors consider measures to enforce mandates.
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