This Tuesday, the federal judge ruled United Airlines not to place employees seeking an exemption to the company’s C-19 vaccine mandate on unpaid leave.
U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman gave the order, so people who signed for an exemption aren’t unduly harmed before he can hear oral arguments.
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Six United employees filed a lawsuit against the company one month ago due to the intent to put on leave those who don’t want to get the vaccine. The suit stated that the employees were effectively told they’d be terminated thy they didn’t want to get the C-19 vaccine.
“United’s actions have left Plaintiffs with the impossible choice of either taking the COVID-19 vaccine, at the expense of their religious beliefs and their health or losing their livelihoods. In doing so, United has violated Title VII and the ADA by failing to engage in the interactive process and provide reasonable accommodations, and also by retaliating against employees who engaged in protected activity,” the suit read.
United and the plaintiffs agreed that the company wouldn’t put workers on leave during the September 24 hearing. Pittman wants to hear arguments on a motion for a preliminary injunction on October 8, but United filed a partial motion to dismiss, saying that the court lacked jurisdiction over some of the claims.
The hearing was scheduled for October 13. Pittman stated that it was necessary to give an order.
‘’The parties’ stipulation will expire before the Court can rule on whether a preliminary injunction is warranted,’’ Trump nominee stated.
“If the parties’ stipulation were to expire without temporary injunctive relief in place, nothing would prevent hundreds of workers from ostensibly either: (1) being compelled to take a vaccination in violation of their religious beliefs or medical restrictions, or (2) being placed on indefinite unpaid leave by United,” he added.
United also added that 320 workers in the U.S. were not in compliance with the vaccine mandate. After Pittman’s order that “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,” the airline stated.
The attorney for plaintiffs, Paoletta, in an email stated that United’s “refusal to provide reasonable accommodations to its vaccine mandate violates the federal civil rights protections of our clients, the hard-working men and women at United,” adding, “We look forward to our clients’ rights being permanently protected.”