WKYT reporter DeAnn Stephens said she lost her job after not following Gray Television’s mandate to get the Covid vaccine.
In an announcement on her Facebook page, Stephens said she made the decision to not get vaccinated because of her medical history and not because she is for or against the vaccine.
“This is about following my Doctor’s recommendation to NOT get it because of my past medical history and current medical issues,” said Stephens. “Here’s where I stand: If you want to get the vaccine and you feel that’s best for you and your family, then I say get it! I also feel that those, like me, should also be accommodated.”
According to her LinkedIn page, Stephens had worked at the Lexington CBS affiliate since 1998 and had been the Out and About reporter at the station since 2013. She also has a radio show on local radio station 98.1 The Bull.
Stephens said she told Gray about her medical condition and provided doctor’s records, but was terminated anyway. She didn’t mention what her medical condition was.
Gray declined to comment but referred TVSpy to its previous statement. Read the full text below:
As part of Gray’s commitment to ensuring a safe work environment, over the past several months, we rolled out a policy requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 1, with limited exceptions provided for those with certain medical conditions or religious objections that can be accommodated.
We are gratified that the vast majority of our employees support this policy and have been fully vaccinated. Moreover, since the announcement of our policy, more than 1000 additional team members chose to get vaccinated. All of our employees and their families at home are safer when everyone in the workplace is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Consistent with our commitment to a safe working environment, we unfortunately have had to terminate the employment of a very small portion of our workforce who declined to get vaccinated and/or who requested an exemption that could not be accommodated without imposing an undue hardship on the business or their coworkers. We are grateful for these individuals’ contribution to our company, and we wish them well. We have also informed them that they are welcome to re-apply for positions with Gray if they do decide in the future to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19.