Washington Post warns employees who don't return to office may face 'disciplinary action'

WaPo staffers must start showing up to the office at least three days per week

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The Washington Post is apparently cracking down on its employees who are not abiding by the company's policies on working from the office. 

In a memo sent out to staff on Wednesday, the Post's chief human resources officer Wayne Connell reinforced its return to office policy that was implemented in March following the COVID pandemic, which requires staffers to work in person "at least three days per week."

"We believe that spending time in the office with colleagues makes us better as a company, affording opportunities to build relationships, build products, collaborate, and serve our readers in ways that a zoom-only setting can’t entirely replicate," Connell wrote in the memo obtained by Fox News. 

It was previously reported that Washington Post executive editor Sally Buzbee has had to face internal strife with employees for a multitude of reasons, one of them being their resistance to return to the office. 

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This memo, however, offered a warning for those employees to "comply now." 

"Beginning this Monday, June 27, please ensure that you are in the office at least three days per week, assuming you are not on approved days off such as vacation time, sick time, etc.  Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action," Connell told Post employees. "We believe this company-wide policy strikes the right balance, allowing both in-office collaboration and greater levels of flexibility than before the pandemic, and it’s only fair that we enforce this policy consistently.  We continue to evaluate the effectiveness of the 3/2 model and reserve the right to make changes in the future.  In the meantime, please do your part in helping us meet these expectations."

The Washington Post via Getty Images Executive Editor, Sally Buzbee speaks after the paper was awarded the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service as employees of The Washington Post via Getty Images gather in the newsroom to watch the presentations on Monday May 09, 2022 in Washington, DC. 

The Washington Post via Getty Images Executive Editor, Sally Buzbee speaks after the paper was awarded the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service as employees of The Washington Post via Getty Images gather in the newsroom to watch the presentations on Monday May 09, 2022 in Washington, DC.  (Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The memo comes just days after the Washington Post was engulfed in Twitter warfare among its employees, some of who had not returned to the office. 

The drama began when reporter Felicia Sonmez publicly shamed colleague Dave Weigel for retweeting a joke that mocked women. The paper condemned the retweet and despite removing the retweet and issuing an apology, Weigel was given a one-month unpaid suspension. 

However, Sonmez's warpath continued as she openly clashed with colleagues who pushed back against her public attacks on co-workers. 

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The situation escalated so much so that Buzbee issued two separate memos urging her employees to be "collegial" with one another. But that did not deter Sonmez, who torched Post reporters who expressed solidarity with the company.

Sonmez was ultimately fired for insubordination. And her radio silence on Twitter since her firing has some speculating that she may revive her discrimination lawsuit against the Post that was previous tossed out of court. 

Washington Post national political reporter Felicia Sonmez was fired after a series of tweetstorms attacking colleagues and the paper.

Washington Post national political reporter Felicia Sonmez was fired after a series of tweetstorms attacking colleagues and the paper. (Getty Images)

Marking one year since taking over the top post, Buzbee has been facing backlash over her decision to rescind a job promotion offer to an editor who was swept up in the erroneous report authored by tech columnist Taylor Lorenz. 

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Deputy features editor David Malitz, was previously revealed as the editor Taylor Lorenz blamed for adding the erroneous statement to her piece about her having reached out two a pair of YouTubers who apparently thrived during the Depp-Heard trial. After the YouTubers pushed back on Twitter saying they never heard from Lorenz, the statement was removed without an editor's note.

Shortly after the incident, Malitz's promotion offer was pulled by Buzbee, which has caused an uproar among staffers.

Washington Post executive editor Sally Buzbee has been facing a multitude of controversies as she surpassed her first year on the job.

Washington Post executive editor Sally Buzbee has been facing a multitude of controversies as she surpassed her first year on the job. (Celeste Sloman for the Washington Post)

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According to the New York Times, Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan accused Buzbee of unfairly damaging Malitz's career and that other staffers voiced that Buzbee "hadn’t earned their trust." 

Buzbee insisted her decision was not a result of his mistake but did not further explain what went behind the reversal.