United Airlines spends $1.4 million every two weeks on paid leave for employees who cannot or do not want to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
The American airline wanted the court’s permission to send these employees on unpaid leave and pointed to the costs, but that argument was unsuccessful.
With about 74,000 employees, the airline has wanted to leave unvaccinated staff at home unpaid for some time. A group of employees opposed this in court. Pending a final ruling, the Fort Worth court in Texas has temporarily banned United Airlines from sending employees who refuse the corona vaccine for medical or religious reasons on unpaid leave.
That ban, which would certainly apply until this week, has now been extended until November 8. The judge feared that hundreds of workers would otherwise be “forced to get vaccinated against their religious beliefs or medical prescriptions”.
United Airlines argues that it should leave these employees at home because their colleagues “refuse to risk their health” by working with unvaccinated cabin crew or pilots.