United Airlines Mandates Covid Vaccines For All U.S. Employees

ToplineUnited Airlines joins the growing number of companies mandating vaccination against Covid-19.CHICAGO (ILLINOIS – MARCH 09) United Airlines pilot Steve Lindland received a COVID-19 vaccination from... [+] RN Sandra Manella at United's onsite O'Hare International Airport clinic on March 9, 2021 in Chicago. Over the past few days, United has been vaccination 250 O'Hare employees daily at the clinic. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images). Getty ImagesThe Key FactsScott Kirby, President, and CEO of the company, President Brett Hart, sent a Friday letter to employees. They stated that they have a duty to ensure safety at work and would require all employees to show proof they were fully vaccinated before October 25, or five weeks after approval by Food and Drug Administration. Unless they are exempted for religious or medical reasons, employees who fail to comply with the deadline will be fired. Kirby and Hart stated that everyone is safer when everyone has been vaccinated. Chicago-based airline required new employees to present proof of vaccination. However, it tried to increase vaccination rates in existing staff by offering incentives such as extra pay. The letter stated that employees who have been fully vaccinated by September 20th will be paid an additional day's pay.What to WatchKirby was a vocal advocate for mandatory vaccination of Uniteds workers, but in January, Kirby stated that it could only be achieved if other airlines also did so. United's decision could indicate that other U.S. airlines are considering similar policies. Delta Air Lines in the U.S. requires that new employees are fully vaccinated, but does not require that existing employees be vaccinated.Important BackgroundThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately half of all Americans are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Companies are becoming more proactive as the number of infections is increasing and the vaccination rate slowing down, and because of this, more and more companies are taking matters into themselves. Given the nature of their profession, healthcare providers were among the first to adopt vaccine mandates. Microsoft, Google, Adobe, and Facebook are now requiring employees to prove that they have been vaccinated before they can return to work. Tyson Foods, the Washington Post, and Morgan Stanley are also doing so. Although there are legal provisions regarding vaccine mandates, they are not well-tested and could lead to expensive litigation or employees quitting if they don't comply.TangentItaly and France announced new rules that would prevent unvaccinated citizens from accessing most public spaces. This led to a dramatic increase in vaccination rates. These policies were also met by widespread protests. Protests were also raised against vaccination policies in the United States.Continue readingCan your boss make you get a covid shot? Ask Your Boss Other Vaccine Mandatory Questions (Forbes).Microsoft is the latest major company to require workers to get vaccinated in the midst of the Covid Surge. (Forbes)Vaccine Passports Drive Explosion in VaccinationsAnd ProtestsAs Europe Cracks down on Vaccine HoldoutsHere's a list of airlines that order their staff to get vaccinated against covid (Forbes).Live updates and coverage of the Coronavirus