United Airlines vaccination mandate temporarily halted for employees seeking religious or medical exemptions

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CEO Scott Kirby appeared in an August video taking issue with employees filing for exemption from COVID vaccination mandate

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United Airlines agreed to temporarily halt its process of granting permission employees To submit an exemption request from its COVID-19 vaccine requirement, according to lawyers representing employees in a lawsuit.

United said in August that more than half of its 67,000 US-based employees who were not vaccinated would need to receive the vaccine by September 27 or be placed on unpaid leave until October 2, but with an exception for medical and religious people. made. The reason, which the employees argue, has not been the case.

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Six employee plaintiffs requested a temporary restraining order against the mandate in a lawsuit filed last week, arguing that United had failed to grant accommodation requests in relation to the vaccine and instead those who did not wish to receive the vaccine. Six years unpaid leave is offered for

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“We are delighted that under the threat of a temporary restraining order, United Airlines suspended its heartless and illegal vaccine mandate that would impose a penalty on nearly 2,000 employees for violating their religious belief, violating their doctors’ orders, or mandatory Mark Paolet, a partner at Shar Jaff LLP, which represents the employees, said in a statement.

He continued: “Everyone can now abide by the court’s decision to have the time and care necessary to carefully consider the legitimate claims of our customers, as we seek a solution that will allow United to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic while respecting civil rights.” Allows to take necessary steps to combat -19. Valuable employees who have serious religious objections or medical conditions that make them unable to receive the vaccine.”

United Airlines employees sued over company’s ‘draconian’ vaccine

Any employee who submitted an accommodation request on or before September 23 would not be placed on leave without pay until October 15, Texas Judge Mark Pittman ruled on August 24. The temporary stoppage will allow the airline to process exemption requests from employees and Pittman. Will hear evidence and arguments on October 8. The agreement does not affect employees who did not seek accommodation.

“Safety remains our top priority. We will continue to vigorously defend our policy – ​​vaccine requirements have been around for decades and have worked to keep airline employees and customers safe,” a joint spokesperson told Granthshala Business.

“And with the pandemic continuing to kill more than 2,000 people every day, we are convinced that our vaccine policy saves lives. To date, 98.5% of United’s US workforce is vaccinated, excluding employees who collect exemptions. “

United Airlines Vaccine Mandate Powered by Delta Edition, Hospital Data, Says CEO Scott Kirby

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby appeared to be taking issue with employees filing for exemptions, according to a video recording of an internal town hall for United pilots obtained by Granthshala News in August.

“By the way, there will be very few people who get through medical and religious exemptions. There are some strict rules about it. Therefore, I encourage any pilot who decides to abruptly, or any employee, that’s all of a sudden I decided I’m really religious and I’d say I’m going [sic]You are putting your work in line. You’ve got to be very careful about it, about doing that,” Kirby said.

Lawyers for Scher-Jaffe, LLP, of Washington, DC, along with attorneys John Sullivan of Cedar Hill, Texas, and Robert Wiegand and Melissa Swindle of Dallas, Texas, are leading the class-action suit in the Northern District of Texas federal court.

Lawyers argue that under the Civil Rights Act, United should make reasonable accommodations for employees, which could include requiring masks and testing for unvaccinated employees. Lawyers note that the Biden administration’s recent vaccine mandate also accepts COVID-19 testing as an alternative to vaccination.

The plaintiffs, on behalf of a class of lawyers who believe there will be about 2,000 employees, are seeking a temporary restraining order against United’s plan to put unpaid employees on six years of unpaid leave. Huh.

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On 22 September a United spokesman said the company was “encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response from employees in all work groups, since we announced the policy last month” and believes the lawsuit is “without merit”. .

Airline Employees 4 Health Freedom, a grassroots organization of US airline employees working to protect the religious freedom and medical freedoms of members, said it would ally with plaintiffs exercising medical and religious rights in the lawsuit in Tuesday’s statement. standing.

“The thousands of EEOC claims we’ve seen so far are hardly ‘without merit’, and we look forward to anything but facts about the fair accommodation process,” the organization said.


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