Atlanta-based Cumulus Media, the third-largest owner and operator of radio stations in America, is allegedly requiring every employee to be 100% vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to return to the office, internal documents obtained by The Daily Wire reveal.
According to the memo, no employees are required to show up to the office for work “through at least July 1, 2021.” Beginning May 1, employees can voluntarily return to the office but they must be 100% vaccinated. They must also continue to wear masks and practice social distancing while in the office.
In order to be granted this interim access:
• Employee must be fully vaccinated, which is defined as at least two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine
• Proof of vaccination must be provided
• Employee must choose to work either in the office full time or to work remotely full time; given current resource and support demands, we cannot accommodate a split schedule
• Employee must have explicit approval from their Location Captain
The employee has to wait until at least two weeks after their final vaccine before he or she can regain access to any Cumulus-owned facilities, the memo states. The employee must also file their COVID vaccination records with the local business manager and programming manager before returning to work.
According to the employee acknowledgment agreement, “any inaccuracy or misrepresentation related to a full and authorized vaccination for COVID-19 will result in disciplinary action,” which can include “immediate dismissal from employment.”
It is unclear whether or not all employees will be required to provide proof of vaccination to return to the office after July 1, at which time the company is reevaluating its telecommuting schedule.
Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provided Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for Pfizer, Modern, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines, the FDA has not officially licensed them. It will likely take another year and a half for the FDA to license the various COVID vaccines, depending on when their EUAs were adopted. According to STAT News, clinical trials take roughly two years for researchers to establish enough data to demonstrate the vaccines are safe and effective. Those clinical trials began in December 2020 for the Pfizer and Modern vaccines.
Whether or not businesses and employers can legally require employees to have the vaccine is still up in the air. Attorney Kevin Troutman, a partner at Fisher Phillips LLP, said it’s a business’ vaccine enforcement plans that are of grave concern.
“The enforcement process can be pretty complicated,” Troutman told The Wall Street Journal about businesses in general. Employers have to give plenty of advance notice and a number of months for employees to comply.
“I’m beginning to see a slow movement of more employers looking to require it,” he explained.
According to STAT News, a subsidiary of The Boston Globe, employers can require the vaccine as long as an employee is not discriminated against “those who cannot receive Covid-19 vaccines because of an underlying disability or religious belief.”
Cumulus Media did not immediately respond to The Daily Wire’s request for comment.
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