United Airlines’ proposal to place employees on leave if they request an exemption from the company’s COVID-19 vaccination obligation has been temporarily halted by a federal judge in Texas.
United (UAL) stated that only 232 employees out of 67,000 in the United States face termination for failing to obtain a vaccine by the September 28 deadline.
“You know I wish we would have gotten to 100 percent, but out of our 67,000 U.S. employees, there are 232 who haven’t been vaccinated, and they are going through the termination process now,” United CEO Scott Kirby said.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman barred United’s vaccination mandate for employees who requested an exemption, thereby keeping them on the payroll.
“The court is not currently ruling on the merits of the parties’ arguments on these points,” Pittman said.
“Rather, the court seeks simply to avoid the risk of irreparable harm to the parties and to maintain the status quo while the court holds an evidentiary hearing,” Pittman added.
Pittman’s restraining order, which expires on October 26, halts United’s policy temporarily while he hears additional arguments in the lawsuit.
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