Judge blocks United from placing unvaccinated employees on unpaid leave

United Airlines has been stopped by a federal judge in Texas from placing employees who applied for an exemption to Covid-19's mandate on unpaid leaves until Oct. 26.
U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman stated that the temporary restraining orders are necessary until he considers a request for a preliminary order filed by six United employees to stop the carrier from taking unpaid leaves.

United was the first U.S. carrier that implemented a mandate for vaccinations for employees. Nearly 97% of United's employees have been vaccinated. Three percent requested an exemption on religious or health grounds.

Leslie Scott, United spokeswoman, said that the ruling does not affect the status quo.

She stated that vaccine requirements are effective and almost all United's U.S. employees have opted to get a shot. We are working with a few of our employees who were granted accommodation to reduce their risk to safety and health, such as new testing protocols, temporary job reassignments, and masking protocols.

United and the plaintiffs reached a Sept. 24, 1994 agreement. United temporarily agreed to not place employees on sick leave because of the mandate to use vaccines. The agreement will expire before Pittman can rule on the preliminary injunction request.