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A United Airlines plane landing in Lisbon. Photo: Horacio Villalobos Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images.

United Airlines staffers who are granted religious exemptions for the company's COVID-19 vaccination mandate will be placed on temporary unpaid leave starting Oct. 2, the airline told employees in a memo.

Driving the news: United last month became the first major U.S. airline to institute a vaccine mandate for employees, and acknowledged then it would consider exemptions for religious, personal or medical exemptions.

Details: The unpaid leave rule applies to all employees who get an exemption, regardless of their role in the company, per the statement. It is in effect until "specific safety measures for unvaccinated employees are instituted," the airline wrote.

  • Employees who have requests for exemptions denied will be required to get their first vaccine dose by Sept. 27.

What they're saying: "[We] can no longer allow unvaccinated people back into the workplace until we better understand how they might interact with our customers and their vaccinated co-workers," states the memo, first obtained by CNBC.

Go deeper

GE to mandate COVID vaccinations for U.S. workers

Photo: Sebastien Bozon/AFP via Getty Images

General Electric will require all of its workers in the U.S. to be vaccinated against COVID-19, citing President Biden's executive order for federal contractors, the company confirmed to Axios on Tuesday.

Why it matters: General Electric is the latest in a slew of major companies to mandate the vaccine for workers, following in the footsteps of American Airlines, Tyson Foods and Microsoft, among others.

John Frank, author of Denver
Oct 18, 2021 - Axios Denver

Denver poised to give belated incentives for vaccinations

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock speaks at the Colorado Convention Center on Sept. 22. Photo: RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Mayor Michael Hancock may have his way after all.

What's happening: City employees who are vaccinated against COVID-19 or received an exemption could soon receive bonuses for complying with the Hancock administration's vaccine mandate.

Oct 19, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Ask Axios: Who pays for Polk County employees' COVID tests?

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Question: "Who is paying for the weekly testing for Polk County employees who refuse the vaccine?" — Denise Donald, DSM