There’s public policy in favor of vaccine mandates, so it’s almost impossible for an employee to argue that it’s against public policy to terminate them as long as the employer provided exemptions on medical and religious grounds. — Aditi Bagchi, a labor law professor at Fordham University School of Law
There’s public policy in favor of vaccine mandates, so it’s almost impossible for an employee to argue that it’s against public policy to terminate them as long as the employer provided exemptions on medical and religious grounds. — Aditi Bagchi, a labor law professor at Fordham University School of Law
United Airlines Is Firing Workers Over Vaccine Noncompliance
United Airlines said it would terminate about 600 employees for refusing to comply with its vaccination requirement, putting the company at the forefront of the battle over vaccine mandates as the economy moves through a bumpy pandemic recovery.

The airline also said that 99 percent of its U.S. work force of 67,000 had been vaccinated, a sign that mandates can be an effective way for companies to prod their employees to get shots.

Some companies are still trying to encourage their employees with a mix of incentives and deterrents, but many others have made vaccination compulsory as a condition of work. On Wednesday, AT&T said it was extending its vaccination requirement to tens of thousands of unionized employees.

In August, United Airlines became the first U.S. carrier and one of the first large corporations to mandate a vaccine for Covid-19.


“This was an incredibly difficult decision but keeping our team safe has always been our first priority,” Scott Kirby, United’s chief executive, and Brett Hart, its president, said in a memo sent to the staff on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, a spokeswoman confirmed that the company had already begun its process to terminate 593 U.S.-based employees who declined to be vaccinated.

“We will work with folks if during that process they decide to get vaccinated,” the spokeswoman said. United Airlines did not give a timeline for the termination process or a breakdown of the job categories of the fired workers.

United has said that unvaccinated workers can request an exemption based on religious or medical reasons. It had planned to place exempt workers on leave, in many cases unpaid, starting Saturday. But the airline postponed the decision, until Oct. 15, pending a lawsuit filed by six employees, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union said in a statement on Monday.

Roughly 350 workers in customer service, storekeeper and baggage service positions have not reported proof of vaccination to the airline, said Michael Klemm, district president of the machinists union.

... Any company is within its legal right to require employees to be vaccinated, barring any conflicting disability or religious belief, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled.

“There’s public policy in favor of vaccine mandates, so it’s almost impossible for an employee to argue that it’s against public policy to terminate them as long as the employer provided exemptions on medical and religious grounds,” said Aditi Bagchi, a labor law professor at Fordham University School of Law.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/29/business/united-airlines-vaccine-mandate.html