United Airlines employees sued the company over its Covid vaccine mandate.
Attorneys for the employees argued the airliner’s vaccine mandate violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In August, United said all of all its 67,000 US-based employees must be vaccinated for Covid by September 27 unless they had a religious or medical exemption.
According to the employees, United is not accommodating religious or medical exemptions as promised – rather, the employees are being put on six years paid leave.
Fox Business reported:
The six employee plaintiffs say United Airlines has failed to approve accommodation requests regarding the vaccine and instead offered six years of unpaid leave for those wishing not to get the vaccine.
“We filed this lawsuit to protect the rights of honest, hardworking United Airlines employees who have religious or medical reasons not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. United has refused to grant any accommodations and these employees are scared by United’s draconian mandate that forces them to either get the vaccine or lose their job. That’s unacceptable in America,” Mark Paoletta, a partner at Schaerr-Jaffe representing the plaintiff, said in a statement to FOX Business.
Headquarters employees whose exemptions are approved will be placed on leave until United decides on safety measures, including whether the person needs to come into the office.
Lawyers argue that under the Civil Rights Act, United must make reasonable accommodations for employees, which could include requiring masks and testing for unvaccinated employees. Lawyers note that even the Biden administration’s recent vaccine mandate accepts COVID-19 testing as an alternative to getting vaccinated.
“This is not about how effective the vaccines are or whether United may mandate vaccination. The fact is that some people have sincere religious objections to the COVID-19 vaccine, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires employers to respect and accommodate those beliefs. United has failed to do this,” Paoletta said, adding that some United employees “also have special medical conditions” and physicians’ notes not to get vaccinated.
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