United Airlines imposed a strict vaccine requirement for employees ahead of the federal government pushing large employers and government contractors to do so. And they weren’t liberal about encouraging and approving exemptions the way that some other large airlines were.
They fired about 200 people, and went to court to put exempted employees on unpaid leave. United CEO Scott Kirby believes his airline’s vaccine mandate saved employee lives.
So now with tremendous background immunity from both vaccination and prior infection, reported case levels down 95% from peak, and better treatments available, the airline has told employees with vaccine exemptions that they’ll be coming back to work.
The move permits staffers with exemptions from the carrier’s vaccination requirement for its U.S. employees to return from unpaid leave or from the non-customer-facing roles they were allowed to apply for as an alternative to their regular jobs, the people said.
United employees who were terminated, however, will not be welcomed back. Most importantly, however, United’s employees will no longer be required to go up to Ted Cruz to hug him for opposing vaccine mandates.