Updated Aug 6, 2021 - Technology

CNN fires 3 staffers for coming into office unvaccinated

CNN chief Jeff Zucker attends the 13th Annual CNN Heroes at the American Museum of Natural History on December 08, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by J. Countess/Getty Images)
CNN president Jeff Zucker. Photo: J. Countess/Getty Images

CNN president Jeff Zucker told staff Thursday that the network fired three staff members who came to work without getting vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a memo first obtained by the New York Times.

Driving the news: Zucker said in the memo also shared with Axios that CNN had a "zero-tolerance policy" on coronavirus vaccinations and noted that employees showing proof of having had the vaccine may soon become part of the process of entering network buildings.

  • "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," said Zucker, who did not state where the fired employees worked.
  • The memo also stated that, effective Thursday, CNN workers in the Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta offices were required to wear face masks, with few exceptions.
  • This doesn't apply to the network's New York offices because masks haven't been mandated in the state, according to the memo.

The big picture: The federal government said in May that it is legal for companies to require workers to get COVID-19 vaccines.

  • 117 Houston Methodist Hospital staff filed a lawsuit against the hospital earlier this year over its vaccine mandate, but it was tossed out of court, and 153 health care workers subsequently resigned or were fired.
  • CNN declined to comment beyond sharing Zucker's memo.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details from the memo, including the mask mandate and to reflect CNN's response to Axios.

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