Employees who have not been vaccinated at United Airlines will be allowed to return to their prior positions.
Employees who were briefly placed on unpaid vacation after refusing a COVID-19 vaccine for religious or medical reasons will be permitted to return to work at the end of this month, according to an internal United Airlines memo reviewed by Fox News Business on March 29, 2022.
Kirk Limacher, the airline’s vice president of Human Resources, stated that because COVID-19 infection rates have decreased, the airline is confident in its ability to safely reintroduce employees to the workplace.
“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,” Limacher was cited as saying by media.
More than 2,000 employees with an accepted request for reasonable accommodation (RAP), including those who took an unpaid vacation, will be affected by the new regulation.
United Airlines was once known for having one of the harshest vaccination policies in the United States, forcing employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or risk being fired.
In October 2021, the airline fired more than 230 employees who refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine, despite the airline’s mandated policy.
Staff layoffs followed United’s decision to send 2,000 unvaccinated staff on unpaid leave, all of whom were seeking medical or religious exemptions.