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United Airlines Unvaccinated Employees Welcomed Back to Work

Date: March 28, 2022

By Rich Thomaselli, Travel Pulse

More than 2,000 United Airlines employees who received religious or medical exemptions from having to take the COVID-19 vaccine were welcomed back to work on Monday, according to an internal memo seen by Fox Business News.

United was the first airline to mandate its employees be vaccinated against the virus, a decision that was twice upheld by a federal judge.

The Chicaco-based carrier placed workers who sought reasonable accommodations through religious or medical exemptions on unpaid leave. Now that the virus is dissipating, they will be able to resume their normal positions with United.

"As the Omicron surge shows clear signs of receding and as we’ve seen how high the protection remains for those of you who are vaccinated, we’re using that same commitment to safety and science to ensure our policies reflect the broader shift to the endemic stage of the pandemic," United Vice President of Human Resources Kirk Limacher wrote in a memo to employees.

There were, however, more than 200 employees who did not request an exemption and just flat-out refused to be vaccinated whose positions were terminated.

Limacher also wrote that "if another variant emerges or the COVID trends suddenly reverse course,” United will re-evaluate its decision.

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