United Airlines must put their upcoming vaccination mandate to a halt as a federal judge in Texas ordered the airline to do. This order is to temporarily halt its plan to put unvaccinated employees on unpaid leave if they have requested an exemption from the company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Six United Airlines employees filed a federal lawsuit over this policy arguing unpaid leave is not a reasonable accommodation, but rather a hurtful employment action. The Texas federal judge, U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman, respond with this hold until he can hear arguments in the case at a later date.
Back on August 6th, United Airlines announced that the airline was requiring all 67,000 of its US-based employees to be fully vaccinated. At the time, the airline said about 90% of pilots and 80% of flight attendants had already been vaccinated. United Airlines issued this statement: “Vaccine requirements work and nearly all of United’s U.S. employees have chosen to get a shot. For a number of our employees who were approved for an accommodation, we’re working to put options in place that reduce the risk to their health and safety, including new testing regimens, temporary job reassignments, and masking protocols.”