What’s The Best Way Broadcast Media Can Protect Its Employees?


On Monday (10/21), popular Westwood One-syndicated talk host Dan Bongino, whose radio program also appears on FOX Nation, took to the airwaves and challenged WWO owner Cumulus Media‘s COVID-19 vaccination mandate. Although Bongino is vaccinated, he took a stand in solidarity of now-former colleagues who lost their jobs for sticking to their personal choice of remaining unvaccinated.

Then came an on-air declaration from a Jacksonville talk host that, rather than show proof of vaccination as a condition of employment, he and his producer would instead do a “weekly COVID-19 test” option live on his show.

What’s a radio or TV station owner to do to keep employees safe from COVID-19 and its Delta variant while balancing the need to have HR send out termination notices to unvaccinated employees? This encore InFOCUS Podcast, presented by dot.FM, may provide some valuable insight and guidance on what path a media company should take.

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In this episode, originally distributed on July 29, Hall Estill labor and employment partner Keith Wilkes offers his take on workplace issues that could come to fruition as the vaccinated and unvaccinated congregate in one building. This includes enforcing anti-bullying policies.

“I would encourage station management and all employers to reinforce, or reintroduce, those workplace COVID safety policies and precautions that were implemented across the board last year and to seriously consider amending those policies to account for vaccinated and unvaccinated employees,” says Wilkes, who is based in Tulsa. “That’s not singling out the unvaccinated, without justification. It is in the interest in the health and welfare of all of those who are in the workplace and those frequenting businesses.”

When deciding what steps to take, “employees should also monitor and keep monitoring their local and regional communities,” Wilkes says.

Wilkes offers more in this 15-minute encore podcast, which includes references to the now-deceased talk show host Phil Valentine. It is accessible through our embedded player by clicking below.


Listen to “The InFOCUS Podcast: Keith Wilkes, Employment Attorney” on Spreaker.