Six United Airlines Workers Sue to Block Vaccine Mandate

Six weeks after United Airlines announced a mandatory vaccine policy for all U.S. employees, a half-dozen workers this week filed a federal lawsuit alleging discrimination with the policy.

The lawsuit was filed in a Texas federal court.


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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

The plaintiffs are seeking to block the mandate by United, alleging that the company discriminated against employees who requested religious or medical accommodations, according to The Hill.

The six plaintiffs allege they represent a group that is expected to exceed 2,000 employees.

United announced its policy in August and included the proviso that any employee that refuses to be vaccinated could be fired. That was scheduled to start next week, prompting the lawsuit to request a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction on enforcing the order, followed by a permanent injunction.

At the time of its original announcement on August 6, United said it would require employees to be vaccinated five weeks after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grants a coronavirus vaccine full approval or by Oct. 25, whichever came first.

The FDA approved Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine on Aug. 23, and employees now have until Monday to either get vaccinated or apply for an exemption.

Earlier this month, United CEO Scott Kirby said in an interview with CNN’s “New Day” that employees who receive medical or religious exemptions would either be reassigned to not interact with customers or go on an unpaid temporary leave.

The suit further alleges that some applicants for medical exemptions were asked to provide additional information, while others were not. Similarly, some applying for religious accommodations had to submit a letter from their pastor, while others did not.

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