After telling employees they could be granted religious exemptions to getting the COVID-19 vaccine, United Airlines has now announced those employees who were granted such exemptions will be placed on unpaid leave until “the pandemic meaningfully recedes.”
CNBC reported that the airline made the announcement to staff on Wednesday, “citing the recent rise in Covid cases.” This is a reversal from last month, when United told its 67,000 U.S. employees that they could receive religious and personal exemptions from the company’s vaccine mandate, as well as medical exemptions.
But on Wednesday, the airline said that its employees who are granted religious and personal exemptions will be put on unpaid leave but can return to work “once the pandemic meaningfully recedes,” without defining what that meant. Employees who would be placed on unpaid leave included airport customer service agents, flight attendants, gate agents, and even pilots.
Other employees, including mechanics and dispatchers, who were granted religious and personal exemptions “can return to work