United Airlines Staff With Vaccine Exemptions Told They’ll Be Placed on Unpaid Leave

  • Direct words from United Airlines on the situation
  • what this means for pilots and flight attendants

United Airlines employees who are granted a medical or religious exemption have been informed that they’ll be automatically placed on unpaid leave, a policy that one expert described as the harshest in America.

United said in the memo “more than half of our employees who were unvaccinated on the day (Aug. 6) we announced the requirement are now vaccinated. Given the dire statistics listed above, 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 coworkers,”

For pilots and flight attendants and other customer-facing employees winning religious exemptions they will remain off work indefinitely. “Once the pandemic meaningfully recedes, you will be welcomed back to the team on active status,” United said. Employees whose requests for religious exemptions are denied must be vaccinated within five weeks or they will be fired.


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