United Airlines Vaccine Case Update

October 13, 2021
United Airlines Vaccine Case Update

Rather the court seeks simply to avoid the risk of irreparable harm to the parties and to maintain the status quo while the court holds an evidentiary hearing.

US Judge Mark Pittman ruling United Airlines must pay its employees who request a vaccine exemption, instead of putting them on unpaid leave.
  • This ruling is temporary.
  • The judge put this temporary restraining order in effect as the case continues in court.
  • United Airlines mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for its employees; some employees requested religious or medical exemptions (or both). Here's what happened when they did: United said even if their requests for medical exemptions were granted, the workers would be placed on medical leave, which may or may not include some portion of their pay, depending upon their union contract. Employees whose requests for religious exemptions were granted would be placed on indefinite unpaid leave but retain their seniority rights if they returned to the company at an unspecified time in the future. (CNN)
  • This temporary ruling supports the employees but does not rule on the merit of the case.
  • Why This Matters: How this case is handled could impact the policies of other airlines (and businesses) that are not offering exemptions in earnest for their employees, a marked difference between this mandate and others.

United vaccine mandate on hold for employees seeking medical or religious exemptions

by Jenna Lee,