Oct 13, 2021 - Economy & Business

United leave plans for staff exempted from COVID vaccine on hold

United Airlines workers arrive to receive COVID-19 vaccines at United's onsite clinic at O'Hare International Airport on March 09, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked United Airlines on Tuesday night from placing on unpaid leave any employee granted an exemption from the company's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Details: The temporary restraining order also states that the airline cannot deny any late requests "for religious or medical accommodations."

  • The order is in place until Oct. 26 ahead of the court considering a preliminary injunction case.

The big picture: United Airlines said last month that more than 97% of the company's U.S.-based employees had been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

  • Six United workers who requested religious and/or medical exemptions have file a lawsuit last month against the company in an attempt to stay on the payroll, CNN notes.

Of note: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued a sweeping executive order on Monday banning vaccine mandates by any "entity," including private employers.

  • Southwest Airlines and American Airlines, both based in Texas, still plan to require employees to get vaccinated despite the state's new ban on vaccine mandates by private businesses.

Go deeper: United CEO: Mandating COVID vaccine was a no-brainer

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