United Airlines is set to fire almost 600 of its U.S.-based employees after the deadline for its COVID-19 vaccine mandate came and went this week.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, after the company’s September 27th deadline requiring vaccination, it has gone ahead with its plans to let go of the U.S.-based workers who did not get vaccinated. The number of people who face losing their jobs stands at 593 people, according to officials from the company.
“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,” the outlet added.
United Airlines was the first main airline in the United States to enforce a vaccine mandate on its employees. Other airlines have taken steps to get employees vaccinated in various ways. As the Journal reported, beginning in November, Delta Air Lines Inc. will make unvaccinated workers pay an additional $200 per month for health insurance from the company.
The Daily Wire reported in August:
As reported by CNBC, United Airlines will be mandating that its U.S. employees — a reported 67,000 people — get the COVID-19 vaccination. They must provide evidence that they got two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, five weeks after the vaccines are fully approved by government officials, or by October 25, whichever date comes first, per executives.
United added that it will allow for exceptions due to health or religious reasons. If employees don’t get vaccinated, they could lose their job.
As The Daily Wire reported earlier this month, however, after United Airlines said employees could be given religious exemptions to the mandate, it later said that those who got religious exemptions would be put on leave without pay.
As The Daily Wire reported, “… the airline said that its employees who are granted religious and personal exemptions will be put on unpaid leave but can return to work ‘once the pandemic meaningfully recedes,’ without defining what that meant. Employees who would be placed on unpaid leave included airport customer service agents, flight attendants, gate agents, and even pilots.”
The Daily Wire added, “Those who received medical exemptions from the company’s vaccine mandate will be placed on temporary medical leave, CNBC reported.”
Reports show that those who tried to get medical or religious exemptions from the mandate were told they’d be put on leave with no compensation. The future status of such employees has yet to be determined. The current terminations set to take place after the deadline passed this week do not include those who have been given health or religious exemptions.
As CNBC reported, “Roughly 2,000 United employees sought exemptions from the mandate, which the airline announced this summer, for religious or medical reasons. The Chicago-based airline had said staff to whom it grants such exemptions will be placed on temporary unpaid leave.”
A legal challenge is currently taking place regarding the unpaid leave status of those employees at the company. United has delayed putting those employees on leave without pay until October 15th as it deals with the lawsuit.
As The New York Times reported:
United has said that unvaccinated workers can request an exemption based on religious or medical reasons, and that exempt workers will be placed on leave, in many cases unpaid, starting Saturday. The airline postponed the decision to place those workers on leave until Oct. 15, pending a lawsuit filed by six employees, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union said in a statement on Monday.