Allison Williams quits ESPN on vaccine tenure: “I can’t put a paycheck on the principle”

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Longtime college football and basketball reporter Allison Williams announced this weekend that she was leaving ESPN on the company’s COVID-19 vaccine tenure.

Williams made the announcement in a video posted to Instagram on Friday, claiming that his “request for accommodation” to not receive the COVID-19 vaccine was denied by ESPN and its parent company, The Walt Disney Co. DIS,
-3.01%.

“At the end of the day, I can’t put a paycheck on principle,” Williams said, “and I won’t sacrifice something that I believe and hold so firmly to maintain a career.”

Disney announced in July that all salaried and non-union hourly workers in the United States working at any of its sites must be vaccinated against COVID-19 within 60 days.

Read more: Walmart demands head office staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 4, while Disney gives employees at all U.S. locations 60 days

ESPN told MarketWatch via email that the company will not “comment on an individual,” but “conduct a thorough review of accommodation requests on a case-by-case basis and make accommodations consistent with our legal obligations.” We are focused on a safe working environment for everyone. “

U.S. employers can legally require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to guidelines from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

If an employee requests an exemption from an employer’s mandate because of religious beliefs or a disability, employers have a legal obligation to provide reasonable accommodation, such as allowing an employee to work remotely or take a job. leave without pay. But an employer can refuse a requested accommodation if it poses undue hardship, such as a significant expense or hardship.

Read more: Yes, your employer may require you to be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the EEOC

For example, it may be difficult to accommodate a side reporter who cannot show up sideways if they are not allowed to enter the stadium due to the proof of vaccination requirements of schools, programs or facilities. stages.

Williams announced in September that she would not receive the vaccine, fearing it could affect her fertility.

“Although my job is incredibly important to me, the most important role I have is that of a mother,” she said. written at the time. “Throughout our family planning with our doctor, as well as a fertility specialist, I have decided not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at this time as my husband and I try to have a second child. . “

Williams echoed the sentiment again in her Instagram video, saying women contacted her after making the announcement, some having had successful pregnancies after receiving the vaccine and others not.

“To the women who have reached out and shared their experiences of the injection and subsequent miscarriages, menstrual irregularities, periods after menopause – I am so sorry that this is your experience, and I pray for you. believe you, she said.

Analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed no increased risk of miscarriage for people who received at least one dose of Pfizer PFE,
-0.41%
or Moderna mRNA,
+ 3.28%
vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy. The analysis revealed a miscarriage rate of about 13%, within the normal range.

Related: CDC urges pregnant women to get COVID-19 vaccine as delta variant rises

The CDC has also urged pregnant women to receive the vaccine, as pregnant women are at a higher risk of serious illness and pregnancy complications from the coronavirus, including miscarriages and stillbirths.

“Vaccines are safe and effective, and it has never been more urgent to increase vaccinations as we face the highly transmissible delta variant and see severe consequences of COVID-19 in unvaccinated pregnant people. “CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. .

Other experts agree that research shows the COVID-19 vaccine does not affect women’s fertility or their ability to get pregnant.



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