United Airlines is preparing to fire nearly 600 employees who refused to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
In August, United said all of all its 67,000 US-based employees must be vaccinated for Covid by September 27 unless they had a religious or medical exemption.
593 employees have yet to get jabbed after the September 27 deadline passed.
The Wall Street Journal reported:
United Airlines Holdings Inc. is moving ahead with plans to terminate close to 600 employees who didn’t meet its Covid-19 vaccination deadline, company officials said Tuesday.
Now the Sept. 27 deadline has passed, and while most of the airline’s employees complied, United is starting the process of firing 593 employees who didn’t get the shots, company officials said. Those workers can still save their jobs if they opt to get vaccinated in the coming days before their official termination meetings, airline officials said Tuesday.
“We know for some, that decision was a reluctant one,” United Chief Executive Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart wrote in a letter to employees Tuesday. “But there’s no doubt in our minds that some of you will have avoided a future hospital stay—or even death—because you got vaccinated.”
The potential terminations apply to United employees who chose not to get vaccinated. Another roughly 2,000 United employees have sought exemptions for religious or medical reasons, company officials said.
United had planned to put employees who received those accommodations on unpaid leave starting Oct. 2, but has postponed that until Oct. 15 while it contends with a lawsuit challenging the accommodations it has offered to such employees.
Last week United Airlines employees sued the company in a federal court in Texas over its Covid vaccine mandate.
Attorneys for the employees argued the airliner’s vaccine mandate violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
According to the employees, United is not accommodating religious or medical exemptions as promised – rather, the employees are being put on six years paid leave.
United is fighting the lawsuit and a hearing is scheduled for October 8.
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