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Southwest: We won’t put unvaccinated workers on unpaid leave – Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada 2021-10-20 02:49:00 –

Steve marcus

After landing at McCarran International Airport on Thursday, January 28, 2021, a Southwest Airlines jet airliner arrived at the gate.

Dallas-Southwest Airlines will allow unvaccinated employees to continue working after early December instead of taking unpaid leave if they apply for an exemption for medical or religious reasons.

Federal contractors, including major US airlines, are facing a deadline of December 8 and require their employees to be vaccinated with COVID-19.

Southwest spokeswoman Brandy King said Tuesday that employees would need to submit proof of vaccination by November 24 or apply for a vaccination exemption. .. She said she was working.

The company has retreated from its previous position of taking unpaid leave for unvaccinated or tax-exempt employees.

“We intend to allow all valid requests for accommodation, but if the request is not granted, the company is sufficient for employees to continue working and be fully vaccinated while adhering to safety protocols. We will provide you with time, “King said.

Southwest Airlines notified employees of a late deadline on Friday.

American Airlines said Tuesday that medical or religious exempt workers would probably need to wear face masks and undergo regular inspections, but the airline is still working on it in detail.

“American Airlines will not leave team members on unpaid leave as part of its federal vaccine obligations,” said Matt Miller, a spokesman for American Airlines.

Both Southwest Airlines and American Airlines are based in Texas, and the Republican Governor has ordered companies not to require their employees or customers to vaccinate. Both say they will comply with President Joe Biden’s federal order that contractors demand vaccination. They believe that this is legally prioritized over state orders.

Gary Kelly, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Southwest, initially said Southwest “must join other companies in the industry to comply with the federal COVID-19 Vaccination Directive.”

However, the day after the statement, the pilot union called on judges to temporarily block the order, saying that the Southwest should negotiate with the union on this issue. A hearing is scheduled for Friday in federal court. This week, anti-delegation protesters demonstrated at airline headquarters.

Kelly has shown that he is personally reluctant about his vaccination obligations.

“I’m not going to fire an employee for this,” he told ABC-TV last week. “We encourage all employees to be vaccinated. If they are not vaccinated, we encourage them to look for accommodation.”

United Airlines, the first US airline to announce vaccine requirements for employees, has begun dismissal procedures for approximately 200 employees who did not request firing or exemption.

Based in Chicago, United has 67,000 American employees. 96% are vaccinated and 3% (about 2,000 employees) are applying for an exemption. United is waiting for a Texas judge to rule a proceeding by an employee who disagrees with the airline’s decision to leave the employee unpaid leave if exempted.

Delta Air Lines Inc. Policy is not so strict. Despite being a federal contractor, Delta says it will allow workers to undergo regular inspections if they don’t want to be vaccinated, but health insurance has an additional $ 200 per month. takes. CEO Ed Bastian said last week that 90% of Delta’s employees are vaccinated and expect that number to reach 95% in November.

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