A federal judge in Texas ordered United Airlines 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.
United Airlines announced Aug. 6 that the Chicago-based airline was requiring all 67,000 of its U.S.-based employees to be vaccinated. At the time, the airline said about 90% of pilots and 80% of flight attendants had already been vaccinated.
But for the small portion of employees that refused to get a coronavirus vaccine and requested either a medical or religious exemption from United, the company said it would place those workers on unpaid leave.
Six employees filed a federal lawsuit over this policy arguing unpaid leave is not a reasonable accommodation, but rather an adverse employment action.