Tyson employee says she’ll be placed on unpaid leave despite medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccine

Northwest Arkansas News

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Tyson Foods has been accepting religious and medical exemptions for its COVID-19 vaccine policy. However, one Tyson employee says even with an approved medical exemption, she’ll be placed on unpaid leave starting November 1st. 

The Tyson employee says that because of her high risk of blood clots, she believes she should be exempt from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. 

But even with a written note from her doctor, she still finds herself choosing between her health and supporting her children.  

“We live in an area where there are only a few good opportunities for employment, so it’s going to be bad,” says Kimberly Morris. 

Tyson Foods announced back in August it would require all of its U.S. workforces to be fully vaccinated before November 1st. 

“I stopped taking my blood thinners for three days because I was going to go and do it, and I got really sick and decided I wasn’t going to,” says Morris. 

Tyson says Morris’ medical exemption was accepted; it just doesn’t have an approved process in place for the unvaccinated team members to return to the workplace. Making their only current option unpaid leave. 

“I asked her if I could go to my doctor’s office weekly to get tested if that would work to where I could keep my job, they said no,” says Morriss. 

A statement from Tyson says, “we don’t want to lose any of our team members and continue to do our best to answer their vaccination questions and listen to their concerns.”

Morris says she just wishes Tyson would do more to accommodate what she believes to be legitimate health concerns. 

“I informed them that I quit taking my medication because I love my job. I’m a single parent, so my job is my children’s security too,” says Morriss. 

As of last week, 91% of Tyson’s U.S. team members have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and it does not have a cut-off for accommodation requests. 

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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