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17 Nov, 2021 16:10

Pregnant golf reporter ‘fired by PGA for not following Covid protocols’

Pregnant golf reporter ‘fired by PGA for not following Covid protocols’

A pregnant golf reporter has taken to social media and TV to reveal how the PGA Tour allegedly fired her after five-and-a-half years for not following its Covid protocols.

Teryn Gregson is currently 22 weeks pregnant and was a full-time employee with the PGA Tour until recently. 

She claims she tried to get a religious exemption to prevent her from having to return to its offices on November 1, while working from home since March last year when the pandemic broke out.

But after not being granted one, she was informed of her dismissal before the weekend. 

In an Instagram post, Gregson explained: "I was in need of religious exemptions from their vaccine protocols of masking and testing.

"They would not accommodate me in such a way that I did not have to violate my religious beliefs. I was hoping we could come together on this."

On a Steve Deace Show appearance on Monday, the 32-year-old confirmed that she had Covid in August and is unvaccinated.

"They told me that [my request] was an undue hardship," said Gregson.

"And that I had to come back in the office to be able to collaborate with my team."

PGA Tour employees were originally set to return to the office in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, in June.

Yet after a Delta variant led to a spike in new Covid cases in the region, the company moved the obligatory date to September 1 and finally November 1.

At present, fully-vaccinated employees aren't required to don masks within their building but unvaxxed employees must wear them "at all times, including in conference rooms, fitness center, simulator and when walking through hallways".

"Masks can be removed while sitting at a workstation if social distancing can be achieved or when eating/drinking. In addition to masking requirements, all unvaccinated employees will undergo weekly Covid-19 screening tests," the rules of the PGA Tour, which claims that 94% of its staff are vaccinated, also specify.

To Golfweek, the PGA Tour fielded questions on Gregson's exit and stated that it "does not have a vaccine mandate for its employees".

"In September and based upon guidance from medical and legal advisors, the PGA Tour established additional health and safety protocols for those who choose to remain unvaccinated. There have been numerous communications to employees about these specific health and safety protocols," it went said.

"Regarding religious exemptions, there is no need for a religious exemption from a vaccine requirement because – again – we do not have a vaccine requirement at the PGA Tour. We do, however, have a process for reviewing requests for medical or religious accommodations (from both vaccinated and unvaccinated employees) for Tour health and safety protocols. All are reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine whether a request qualifies and what accommodations can be made."

Despite this, Gregson confirmed to USA Today that she is weighing up legal action against the PGA Tour while not giving much thought to gaining alternative employment elsewhere.

She claims to have been overwhelmed by numerous messages of support from people around the US who are dealing with the same issue, and answered "I don't know what's next" when asked what the future holds.

"I have to figure some stuff out," she admitted.