Fox Orders Employees to Disclose Vax Status

It was a voluntary self-report until now, but new directive from CEO has changed things up
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2021 7:49 AM CDT
Fox Orders Employees to Disclose Vax Status
In this March 2, 2017, file photo, Tucker Carlson, host of "Tucker Carlson Tonight," poses for photos in a Fox News Channel studio in New York.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

On Fox News, the topic of vaccine passports has been a hot one, with show hosts such as Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity claiming the concept of asking someone for proof of vaccination is an invasion of privacy and an un-American infringement on one's rights. It's not yet clear how those personalities feel about their own company's vax status mandate, revealed in a Tuesday memo sent out by Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott. In the note to employees, seen by Adweek and CNN Business, Scott noted that all workers, both on-site and remote, had till the end of day on Tuesday to upload their vaccination status to the company's internal HR system, for "space planning and contact tracing purposes," and in accordance with CDC and local health and safety guidelines.

Also noted in the memo, which doesn't make mention of any vaccine mandates:

  • Masks are optional for vaccinated staffers, though they're strongly encouraged in public areas, and they're required for all in "small, confined spaces" such as control rooms.
  • All employees and vendors have to undergo a daily health screening.
  • Certain essential workers at the company's New York offices will need to be tested for COVID at least once a week, even if they've been vaxxed.
  • The company has made counseling available for those who need a way to deal with the stress of the pandemic.

CNN notes the right-wing network—whose hosts have also slammed face masks—has had a vaccine passport of sorts since June, albeit a voluntary one, in which workers were encouraged to let the company know what shots they'd received and when. This, despite the fact that its most popular hosts have railed against people being made to divulge their vaccination status. Hannity, for example, has cited "doctor-patient confidentiality," while Carlson got aggressively snarky in May when New York Times media reporter Ben Smith reached out to ask him if he'd been vaxxed. Carlson's reply: "When was the last time you had sex with your wife and in what position? We can trade intimate details." There's been no response yet from Fox on the memo or on the apparent daylight between its policies and what's being said by its on-air personalities. (More Fox News stories.)

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