About 96% of United Airlines’ 67,000 employees in the U.S. received COVID-19 vaccinations, the company said.
Just under 600 workers who did not get vaccines or seek medical or religious exemptions face termination. The company says fewer than 3% of U.S. workers sought exemptions, and more than 99% of the remaining workers received vaccines by yesterday’s deadline.
It’s possible that some workers who did not provide proof of vaccination will not be terminated because they received vaccines but didn’t provide documentation by the deadline or they agree to get vaccinated.
In August, United said it would mandate vaccines for employees. CEO Scott Kirby was one of the earliest proponents of employer-mandated vaccines.
“This is a historic achievement for our airline and our employees as well as for the customers and communities we serve,” Kirby and United President Brett Hart said in a statement to employees. “Our rationale for requiring the vaccine for all United’s U.S.-based employees was simple—to keep our people safe—and the truth is this: Everyone is safer when everyone is vaccinated, and vaccine requirements work.”
Employees who sought religious or medical exemptions will be placed on unpaid leave. The company was sued in Texas by six employees who say the policy is discriminatory.