United Airlines has been the most aggressive U.S. carrier – and one of the most aggressive U.S. companies – requiring that all employees be vaccinated. They now boast a 97% vaccination rate.
The airline says employees can,
- Get vaccinated
- Get an exemption but get placed on unpaid leave as a result and the flight attendants union has said they won’t help employees get exemptions
- Get fired
The airline’s tactics though have basically begged for lawsuits. Their ‘reasonable accommodation’ for those with medical exemptions is not to pay them or allow them to work until the end of the pandemic. And those seeking religious exemptions are instructed to provide a letter from a pastor attesting to the beliefs, which is something not legally required, but that you can buy online.
A lawsuit has now been filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. And by the way,
The airline started sending out postcards to unvaccinated employees earlier this month warning that anyone who didn’t get the shot or secure an exemption would be “separated” from the company.
“As these postcards were not sent in an envelope, United effectively broadcast its employees’ vaccination status to all who saw the postcards,” the lawsuit claims.
There’s little question that employers have the legal right to impose vaccine requirements, and this seems to be true even where working conditions are subject to collective bargaining. However what remains to be litigated is what sorts of accommodations are in fact required for religious or medical exemptions. The Biden administration’s proposed OSHA rule is expected to include regular testing as an alternative to vaccination.
United does not allow such an alternative. At 97% vaccination, United faces less operational risk than other airlines – who might see pilots take retirement if they object. Then again, for the final 3% maybe they’re the ones considering this…
In a show dedicated to covid and election fraud conspiracies, Michael Flynn yesterday brings up an article he read that the Deep State medical establishment is planning to secretly put the covid vaccine in salad dressing. pic.twitter.com/45LniXtnYA
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) September 22, 2021
A vaccine mandate for employees does little to help passengers, who are generally more exposed to other passengers than they are to employees – such as in security lines, at the gate, and in the middle seat on board. United CEO Scott Kirby has said the airline is prepared to implement a vaccine mandate for passengers if the federal government imposes one but is not prepared to do so on its own.