Reporter, producer and host Teryn Gregson said in a social media post Monday that the PGA Tour fired her for refusing to follow protocols set by the organization to deal with COVID-19.
Gregson, who is 22 weeks pregnant with her second child, worked for the PGA Tour for 5½ years. She was a full-time employee and said she tried to get a religious exemption from returning to the PGA Tour offices, but was not granted one.
She was notified of her dismissal last Friday.
“I was in need of religious exemptions from their vaccine protocols of masking and testing,” Gregson said in her post. “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.”
Reached by Golfweek, the PGA Tour responded to a series of questions.
“The PGA Tour does not have a vaccine mandate for its employees,” the Tour said in a statement. “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.
“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.”
Gregson also appeared Monday on the conservative Steve Deace Show on BlazeTV and said that she had COVID this past summer. She is not vaccinated.
Gregson had been working from a studio in her home since the global pandemic began March 2020. However, the PGA Tour established rules for its employees to return to work at the PGA Tour’s offices in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., beginning November 1. The original date to resume in-office work was June 1, but a highly transmissible Delta variant led to a spike in new cases and hospitalizations in Northeast Florida. This led the PGA Tour, with guidance from local and state officials as well as the Tour’s medical advisor, Dr. Tom Hospel, to move the mandatory date to return to the office to September 1 and then November 1.
Fully vaccinated employees are not required to wear masks within the building. For unvaccinated employees, masks are required to be worn “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.”
“They told me that (my request) was an undue hardship,” Gregson said on the Deace Show. “And that I had to come back in the office to be able to collaborate with my team.”
The PGA Tour said nearly 94 percent of its employees are fully vaccinated.
“In the months leading up to our eventual return, we rolled out a series of employee communications via emails, newsletters, videos and moderated Q&A sessions to answer questions related to COVID, vaccinations, health and safety protocols and general return-to-office onboarding,” the statement continued.
“When mandatory in-office work for Northeast Florida employees at our new Global Headquarters and PGA Tour Entertainment building commenced on November 1, the vaccination rate of employees was at 90 percent. Presently, all Tour employees based in Northeast Florida are required to return to the office and follow health and safety protocols.”
Multiple efforts by Golfweek to reach Gregson went unanswered.