United employees sue the airline over exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, as the company announces 97% of workers have gotten the shot
- A group of United employees sued the company, saying it practiced a "pattern of
discrimination" by denying their vaccine exemption requests.
- More than 97% of the airline's employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 leading up to the September 27 vaccine deadline.
United Airlineswas the first major US airline to require its employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to keep working.
Six United Airlines employees have filed a lawsuit against the company, saying it discriminated against workers through its company-wide
"United's actions have left Plaintiffs with the impossible choice of either taking the COVID-19 vaccine, at the expense of their religious beliefs and their health, or losing their livelihood," according to the lawsuit.
The plaintiffs vary in position across the company - two pilots, a flight attendant, and operations/service representatives. The lawsuit says they requested at least one of either exemptions, but were ultimately denied and put on "indefinite unpaid leave" by the company.
United Airlines has not yet responded to Insider's request for comment.
Meantime, the air carrier announced Wednesday that 97% of employees are now vaccinated against COVID-19. United was the first major US airline to issue a vaccination mandate for workers.
This comes less than a week before the company's major
The company said it highly encourages, but does not require, its passengers to be vaccinated.
United Airlines CEO
Delta Airlines has also set up a punitive system for its unvaccinated workers, bumping up health insurance for those refusing to get the vaccine. American Airlines cut off special pandemic leave for its unvaccinated employees, while Alaska Airlines announced it would stop offering paid time off to workers who contract
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