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Judge bars United from putting unvaccinated workers on leave

United Airlines Vaccinations
Posted at 5:27 PM, Oct 13, 2021

FORT WORTH, Texas — United Airlines employees who are suing the airline over its vaccine mandate will get more time to make their case.

A federal judge in Texas ordered United not to place unvaccinated employees on unpaid leave if they are seeking a medical or religious exemption from mandatory vaccination against COVID-19.

"The court is not currently ruling on the merits of the parties' arguments on these points," Judge Mark Pittman wrote in his order, according to CNN. "Rather the court seeks simply to avoid the risk of irreparable harm to the parties and to maintain the status quo while the court holds an evidentiary hearing."

The attorney for the plaintiffs said he was pleased with the ruling, CNN reports.

A statement from United defended its vaccine mandate:

"Vaccine requirements work and nearly all of United's U.S. employees have chosen to get a shot. For a number of our employees who were approved for an accommodation, we're working to put options in place that reduce the risk to their health and safety, including new testing regimens, temporary job reassignments and masking protocols."

United reports that 99% of its employees have complied with its vaccine policy.