CNN Enforces Company-Wide COVID-19 Vaccination Policy; Fires 3 Employees Who Refused to Comply

In a high profile — and potentially precedent-setting — firing, cable news network CNN has announced that it has terminated the employment of three employees who came to work unvaccinated, despite company policy mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees.

David Bauder of the Associated Press reported that Warner Media chairman of news and sports, Jeff Zucker, told staff members of the firing in a memo sent on Thursday, Aug. 5, reminding employees that “vaccines were mandatory if they report to the office or out in the field where they come into contact with other employees.”

“Let me be clear — we have a zero-tolerance policy on this,” Zucker said in the internal document.

Although not publicly released, CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy verified the memo’s existence and tweeted out details of its contents.

“Most of CNN’s offices are already open on a voluntary basis, and Zucker said more than a third of news staff members have returned,” Bauder reported. “Proof of vaccination has been left to the honor system, but that may change in coming weeks.”

Zucker’s memo also revealed that previously proposed plans for a company-wide return to the CNN office on Sept. 7 have been postponed, at least until October.

“The CNN leader [also] said that masks will be required in Atlanta, Washington and Los Angeles offices when people aren’t eating, drinking or in an enclosed private space,” Bauder reported. 

“Even in offices where mask-wearing is not mandated, people should do what feels comfortable to them ‘without any fear of retaliation or judgment from co-workers,’” Zucker said.

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.