On Tuesday, Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott sent a staff memo that stated that the company has “asked all employees —whether on site as part of our essential workforce or working remotely — to upload their vaccination status" into an internal database.
"All employees must enter their status no later than today, August 17th, by close of business," Scott wrote in the emailed update on company policies, reflecting the Delta variant-driven COVID resurgence. The memo was obtained and reported on by Adweek and subsequently CNN Business.
While masks remain optional for vaccinated employees, Fox is "requiring employees to wear a mask in small, confined spaces with limited opportunities for social distancing and where there are multiple employees, including control rooms,” Scott wrote.
The memo does not state that vaccinations are mandatory in order to enter Fox’s offices. Other media companies, including Disney and WarnerMedia, have issued such mandates — and WarnerMedia recently fired three employees for violating it.
In June, Fox implemented a version of a vaccine passport system that let employees voluntarily report when they were vaccinated and which vaccines they received, noting that such information could help the company with space planning and contact tracing.
Meanwhile, Fox News host Tucker Carlson “has repeatedly suggested to reporters who ask him about his vaccination status that the question is akin to asking about their sex life,” and host Sean Hannity “has repeatedly talked up ‘doctor-patient confidentiality,’” notes CNN Business.
Fox did not respond to that outlet’s requests for comment on the discrepancy between Fox’s policies and some hosts’ stated opinions.