Scripps to Require Covid Vaccination for Employees Starting in December

By Kevin Eck 

E.W. Scripps is joining Gray Television and ABC parent company Walt Disney Company in requiring Covid-19 vaccinations for all employees starting in December.

In a letter from CEO Adam Symson obtained by TVSpy, Scripps said the vaccination mandate will take effect Dec. 1 and includes workers who are 100% remote.

Symson told employees that the FDA approval of vaccines should eliminate any opposition to getting vaccinated and added that the decision was made based on scientific research and expertise from the CDC and World Health Organization. He said that the Covid-19 vaccination “has been scientifically proven to be extremely effective in preventing serious illness and reducing the spread of coronavirus.”

“We understand some employees may have a medical reason or sincerely held religious belief for not getting the vaccine, and we will have an accommodation process for those employees,” said Symson. “Otherwise, employees must be fully vaccinated by Dec. 1, including employees who work 100% remotely. If not, the employee will be in violation of our safety policy, and this will end their Scripps employment.”

Gray told staff they needed to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1, while Disney announced its vaccination policy in July.

Read the full text of the letter below:

Letter from Adam Symson:

Sept. 9, 2021

Colleagues:

After thoughtful consideration and a careful review of facts, Scripps has decided to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees by Dec. 1. This will be an important milestone toward bringing all employees back into our buildings, and we’ll share more about return plans for our divisions and locations in the coming weeks.

From the beginning of the pandemic, we have shared our three priorities: protecting the health and well-being of our employees, serving our audiences and communities and maintaining business continuity. These priorities have and will continue to drive our decisions, and we believe our best path forward is to require all Scripps employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. We also may require staying up to date on booster shots in the future based on Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and manufacturer recommendations.

At Scripps, we make decisions based upon scientific research and expertise including the CDC and World Health Organization. The COVID-19 vaccination has been scientifically proven to be extremely effective in preventing serious illness and reducing the spread of coronavirus [r20.rs6.net]. Now, with full FDA approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, employees who were waiting for FDA approval of a vaccine will have ample time to attain fully vaccinated status by Dec. 1. This means completing the second doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the one Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Nov. 15, to allow two weeks after the final dose to reach fully vaccinated status.

We understand some employees may have a medical reason or sincerely held religious belief for not getting the vaccine, and we will have an accommodation process for those employees.

Otherwise, employees must be fully vaccinated by Dec. 1, including employees who work 100% remotely. If not, the employee will be in violation of our safety policy, and this will end their Scripps employment.

To learn more about how the vaccines were developed, their efficacy, safety and any known side effects, please join two experts from the University of Cincinnati’s UC Health for a Scripps-only webinar on Thursday, Sept. 16, from 11 a.m. – noon Eastern. Click here [r20.rs6.net] to sign up. For articles on the vaccines and a comprehensive FAQ about our policy, please click here [r20.rs6.net].

You can submit your proof of vaccination through Workday by clicking here [r20.rs6.net], including if you have only completed your first shot. Please note that even if you previously submitted a voluntary self-disclosure regarding your vaccination status, this is a new form [r20.rs6.net] and you will need to resubmit your information.

If you have questions that aren’t answered in the FAQ [r20.rs6.net], please reach out to your HR business partner.

Take care and be well.

Adam Symson (he/his)
President and CEO

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