About 2,200 unvaccinated employees will soon be allowed to return to their jobs at United Airlines beginning on March 28, according to Reuters.
The news: Employees who had reasonable accommodations to not receive the COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed to return to the airline.
- Out of the 67,000 total employees of the time, about 200 did not comply with the airline’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate and were let go from their jobs. These employees will not be rehired.
- More than 97% of the company’s employees have received the COVID-19 vaccine, according to CNBC.
A look back: In February, employees took the airline to court, stating that the vaccine mandate will cause them “irreparable harm,” according to The Associated Press.
- The court rejected this claim, and United Airlines was allowed to uphold the mandate, according to The Associated Press.
- The unvaccinated employees who received a medical or religious exemption were placed on unpaid leave, according to Reuters.
- Some unvaccinated employees were moved from customer-facing jobs, meaning some flight attendants were unable to work their regular jobs, according to CNBC.
Why was the decision made?: Kirk Limacher, vice president of human relations for the company, told AP News that the airline is allowing employees to return because the amount of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are expected to decrease in the future.
- The company will continue to reevaluate the situation as COVID-19 trends change.
- New employees of United Airlines are still required to be vaccinated, per AP News.