Trump-Appointed Judge Blocks Airline From Putting Unvaccinated Employees On Unpaid Leave If They Requested An Exemption

United Airlines will have to wait on its plans to place unvaccinated workers on unpaid leave if they requested an exemption.

NPR reports:

“A federal judge in Texas ordered United Airlines to temporarily halt its plan to put unvaccinated employees on unpaid leave if they have requested an exemption from the company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

United Airlines announced Aug. 6 that the Chicago-based airline was requiring all 67,000 of its U.S.-based employees to be vaccinated. At the time, the airline said about 90% of pilots and 80% of flight attendants had already been vaccinated.

But for the small portion of employees that refused to get a coronavirus vaccine and requested either a medical or religious exemption from United, the company said it would place those workers on unpaid leave.

Six employees filed a federal lawsuit over this policy arguing unpaid leave is not a reasonable accommodation, but rather an adverse employment action.

U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman responded to that lawsuit Tuesday by ordering a temporary restraining order on United to hold off on removing any worker requesting those exemptions from the payroll. That’s just until he can hear arguments in the case at a later date.

Pittman’s temporary restraining order expires on Oct. 26.”

For the rest of the story, visit NPR here.

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