United Airlines Calls Bluff On Vaccine Religious Exemptions

United Airlines Calls Bluff On Vaccine Religious Exemptions

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United Airlines has been the most aggressive among US airlines when it comes to requiring employees to be vaccinated. The airline is now taking it a step further, and is putting employees who requested a religious exemption for vaccination on unpaid leave.

United’s update on religious exemptions

In early August, United Airlines revealed that it will require all employees to be vaccinated, with the only exception being for “a very narrow reasonable accommodation process (as required by law) for religious and medical exemptions.” This new policy kicks in as of early October, and there’s an interesting update on that front.

First of all, United Airlines has seen considerable progress when it comes to employees getting vaccinated. Since the initial announcement of the vaccine mandate in early August, over half of unvaccinated employees have gotten vaccinated. But that still leaves a considerable number of unvaccinated employees.

As of October 2, 2021, United Airlines will put employees who requested a religious exemption from the coronavirus vaccine requirement on temporary, unpaid personal leave. Employees who get approved for religious exemptions will only be able to return to work after new testing and safety procedures are in place.

United Airlines is still working on a process for approving these religious exemptions, but once that happens:

  • Employees who get denied for religious exemptions must be vaccinated within five weeks or they’ll be fired
  • Employees who get approved for religious exemptions will only be allowed to return to work once “the pandemic meaningfully recedes”

As the airline explains this in a memo to employees:

“Given the dire statistics listed above, we can no longer allow unvaccinated people back into the workplace until we better understand how they might interact with our customers and their vaccinated coworkers.”

This is a bold position for United to take

Religion is a tricky thing. We have religious freedom in the United States, which is great, and there’s not any one philosophy that anyone has to hold. Everyone can believe in whatever they’d like to believe in — some people use religion to spread love and inclusion, others use it to promote hate and division, and others use it to hold some very strange positions.

People can more or less attribute whatever they’d like to their religion without being questioned. But now we’re at a tricky crossroads, when public health is on the line. Is it reasonable to suggest that anyone’s religion should prevent them from getting vaccinated? Well, for better or worse, there’s nobody who decides what’s “reasonable” in someone else’s religion.

United is framing this in an interesting way. The airline isn’t telling people that they can’t hold their beliefs, but rather that the risk of allowing those people to come to work is too high. Ultimately I’m sure United will face some significant lawsuits from employees here. It’s not often you see companies essentially challenge someone’s claim of a religious accommodation, but that’s exactly what United is doing here. I’m curious to see how this plays out.

Bottom line

United Airlines is requiring employees to be vaccinated, aside from a narrow set of exemptions for religious or medical reasons. It seems that a good number of employees may have requested a religious exemption for vaccination, and now the airline will be putting those employees on unpaid leave.

The airline claims that this is being done while processes for accommodating these employees are figured out, though I think it’s safe to say that this goes beyond that, and is intended to send a message. How that works out remains to be seen…

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  1. Maureen

    I agree with United Airlines I previously worked in a company that had two employees that totally used religion to constantly get accommodations for anything they didn’t want to do. It was so disgusting and all the other employees knew it was a scam! They finally got called out on it by another employee who challenged them and then demanded the same privilege for his religion and his beliefs! The sad part was they were...

    I agree with United Airlines I previously worked in a company that had two employees that totally used religion to constantly get accommodations for anything they didn’t want to do. It was so disgusting and all the other employees knew it was a scam! They finally got called out on it by another employee who challenged them and then demanded the same privilege for his religion and his beliefs! The sad part was they were horrible people and not religious at all. Well it all came to an end for those two we all were so happy to see them exposed. There are many people who try that religion card.

  2. Lisa

    Just like some hide behind their religion at Christmastime and pretend to not practice it but still take the Christmas bonus & gift the company offers. Pick & choose society.
    And did someone actually say sexual assault is a freedom/ liberty taken away, oh my someone needs help.

  3. Andrew

    What’s interesting is that most religions are concerned with the welfare of others. I’ve heard many, many spiritual leaders advocate for the vaccine. I am curious which religions prioritize whatever concerns they have over the value of life.

    1. Eskimo

      I'll take the bullet for this. Jeopardy style.

      What is Crusade and Jihad for whatever concerns called Holy Land?

      That might actually kill more people than Covid-19.

  4. GLCTraveler

    The unvaxed public is as "Dumb as a Box of Rocks", literally!! The unvaxed are 95%+ who are currently being hospitalized AND dying or if they are lucky to survive, WISH they had been vaxed....... Watch the news people and get vaxed, or die!! And if you don't like it, you can be at risk of dying too.
    The only reason I wear a mask is to protect the children under 12 years old, period, NOT to protect the stupid Rocks!!

    1. Jerry

      If you are trying to protect the children under 12, why don’t you wear 3 masks? The virus can still penetrate one mask, and even 2 has some risk. Better make it 3. In fact, maybe don’t leave your house. Then you will for sure never spread the virus to anyone else.

    2. Eskimo

      @Jerry
      Do you wear 3 condoms at the same time? In fact, maybe don’t have those activities at all. Then you will for sure never spread the virus to anyone else. You know it as fun to troll the vaxxers or the anti-vaxxers. Both group have people that are dumb and too vocal.

      @GLCTraveler
      You watch too much CNN. Rather than countering conservatives (and so many click bait ads), they should be investigating...

      @Jerry
      Do you wear 3 condoms at the same time? In fact, maybe don’t have those activities at all. Then you will for sure never spread the virus to anyone else. You know it as fun to troll the vaxxers or the anti-vaxxers. Both group have people that are dumb and too vocal.

      @GLCTraveler
      You watch too much CNN. Rather than countering conservatives (and so many click bait ads), they should be investigating why there isn't vaccines for kids yet. Pharmaceutical companies never thought about studying children when they were studying adults?
      Don't forget, we (the vaxx) are now the largest test subject group in the world.

    3. GLCTraveler

      Bite me Jerry....................... Your reply is truly the sign you are a Covidiot!!

  5. Bill

    Good for them. Everyone is still allowed to believe what they want to believe, they simply may not be able to stay employed by United. I'd love to see one or more of the airlines come out with a vaccine requirement for passengers - I would go out of my way to use them.

  6. Mark

    United is wrong. I support the vaccine and got my shot. Forcing someone is wrong.

    1. Alex

      Not getting vaccinated and putting everyone else at risk is wrong.

    2. Don

      If you are vaccinated, how is an unvaxxed person putting a vaxxed person at risk?

    3. Alex

      Children under 12 cannot get the vaccine. So unvaccinated people are obviously putting others at risk that have no option to get vaccinated . Get a clue and stop being so self centered.

    4. GLCTraveler

      Killing passengers is wrong.... I hope United requires ALL passengers be vaccinated, that would be awesome!!
      The unvaxed can fly Spirit or better yet take the bus!
      Being unvaxed is stupidity at it's finest...... Period

  7. Alan

    It is as if almost everyone commenting still believes the vaccine prevents infection. That has long been disproven. Vaccination status no longer protects anyone although negative tests could. Furthermore natural immunity is ruled out when it is known to provide better protection against delta than the vaccines. Give me a recovered from covid unvaxxed pilot any day.

    1. Alex

      If vaccines didn’t provide any protection why are 99% of COVID deaths unvaccinated people? Like many vaccines(the flue vaccine for example) you can get sick but the severity of the disease is dramatically reduced. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

    2. Free Thinker

      If the vaxx works, then your safe. So leave me alone and let me die in piece.

    3. billb303

      Virtually no one who has been following along thinks the vaccine prevents infection. It does reduce the chance of contracting COVID and, most importantly, greatly reduces/almost eliminates the most serious effects of getting COVID. Give me a fully vaccinated crew and passenger load any day.

    4. kaboom

      you have a right to your opinion but what you write is opinion presented as fact, and most of that is inaccurate.

  8. FirstFlyer

    The rhetoric needs to be changed while discussing converting the vaccine hesitant. If you want to convert the hesitant, address their issues with facts. Why do the manufactures refuse to disclose what is in the vaccine? Proprietary information is all well and good for pre-covid times, however if you are forcing an entire population to get a vaccine, complete transparency as to what chemicals, technology, etc. is in the injection is hardly an unfair ask....

    The rhetoric needs to be changed while discussing converting the vaccine hesitant. If you want to convert the hesitant, address their issues with facts. Why do the manufactures refuse to disclose what is in the vaccine? Proprietary information is all well and good for pre-covid times, however if you are forcing an entire population to get a vaccine, complete transparency as to what chemicals, technology, etc. is in the injection is hardly an unfair ask. Also, why are the vaccine manufactures completely exempt from responsibility from the deaths or adverse reactions of the vaccinated? When did we suddenly come to believe that pharmaceutical companies are altruistic entities with solely human good in mind? Why in Israel, where 78 percent of the population has been vaccinated, is there currently 122,000 Covid cases reported in the last 2 weeks? Given that the risks of death for young people are so statistically low, can we have some numbers and percentiles of the risks for vaccination vs Covid per age group? I am seeing a lot of shaming, bullying, and coercing into getting the shot, but no one addressing the concerns of "if I and those I love receive this shot, will we be better off or worse from having received it"? In previous MRNA vaccine trials, although animals initially had high antibodies for the laboratory version of the virus they were inoculated against, when they encountered the virus in the wild they were much more susceptible to catching/dying from the wild versions of the virus. Is this what is happening in Israel currently? The narrative shouldn't be, get this vaccine or get fired, it should be, get this vaccine so you will be healthier.

    1. GLCTraveler

      Blaaaaaah, Blaaaah, Blah.....

      Just shut up and get vaxed.

    2. Don

      Ha! You pretty much summed up what the dems think. Let’s not listen to facts or reason or anything really. Just do as we say or else.
      Dems love telling people what to do.

    3. Lisa

      Answer this , why don't those that questioning the vaccines , also question the ink maker of the tattoo ink in their arms. Take the vaccine or don't take it , it will always be that person's choice, but be prepared to accept the consequences of that decision , as we must do with any decision we make.

    4. Jake212

      Congrats for dumbest comment on this site. We’re now comparing COVID, which has killed millions, to tattoo ink. Jesus Christ….

  9. Ivan X

    This is nice and all, but employees are small potatoes. If United wants to put its money where its mouth is:

    - two free Club pass for one-shot J&J at the gate

    - Premium Econ cabin on transcon and intl requires vax proof

    - 500 PQP per shot

    - vax only lavs

    1. Ivan X

      *on connecting flights, can opt into two shot mRNA for the Club passes

  10. Victoria

    Good for United….NOT getting vaccinated is selfish and endangers passengers and colleagues….Why should anyone have the right to do that?

  11. rassalas

    Allowing hypochondriacs to be in charge of an airline is like allowing the insane to take over the asylum...

    1. Alex

      Electing Republicans who don’t believe in science resulted in the deaths of over 600,000 US citizens. Talk about the insane running the asylum. . .

    2. Alex

      Electing Republicans who don’t believe in science resulted in the deaths of over 600,000 US citizens.

  12. Michael

    Private enterprise limiting religious exemptions in this instance is less a legal issue than a public relations issue. UA needs to be careful but it’s position on this does not seem at all unreasonable, much less illegal.

  13. David

    My doctor recommended I not get the vaccine, for reaons I am not going to share here. Yet many of you feel it should be mandated that I get it. Why do you feel you are more qualified to make that decision for me rather than my doctor? Don't tell me this is about science.

    1. Aussie

      Nobody’s telling you to get a vaccine. Other passengers just don’t want to be around you because you’re a vector for the plague.

    2. Don

      Dude it’s a virus with a 99% survival rate WITHOUT a vaccine. But keep telling yourself its the plague.

    3. Alex

      Dude if 1% of the US population dies from COVID that would be over three million people killed from the disease. How is that not a plague? (FYI- over 600,000 people in the US have already been killed by COVId)

    4. A different David

      This article was about religious exemptions which are very different from medical exemptions. While legitimate medical exemptions are probably rarer than they are being claimed, I doubt few on here would question your doctor's recommendation without more information.

    5. Alex

      If your Dr said that your Dr can provide a legit reason for you to ask for a medical exemption. You can use that to request a reasonable accommodation from a work mandated vaccine. If it isn’t a undue hardship to accommodate you then your employer must provide an accommodation.

  14. rassalas

    I'll not be flying on United for a long long time. Hypochondria is a known mental illness. I love to fly but not with a certifiably insane pilot up front.

    1. Ray

      I must be very slow, please detail how you got from United requiring employees to be vaccinated to the pilots being certifiably insane. I must have missed a turn in your twisted logic.

    2. Alex

      @rassalas your comment makes no sense. Maybe the pilot isn’t the one with a mental illness . . .

  15. Roman Scott

    Love this. As a Catholic, in my area, the Church has been clear they will not sign off on religious exemptions. That spelled doom for a relative who tried to use the religious exemption excuse but had a boss who said.....Ok, get a letter from your pastor.

    Oops

    1. rassalas

      Time to join a different religion.

    2. Ray

      So they are interchangeable until you get the answer you want regarding a vaccination shot. Interesting. And here I thought there was a basis behind the religious beliefs of people. Now I learn it is about getting what you want.

  16. B N

    According to the vaccination and religion wiki, there are currently only two denominations that regularly are exempt: Christian Scientist and the Congregation of Universal Wisdom (the last is new to me). Jehovah's Witness won't receive blood transfusions and other blood products so tend to not object to vaccines on religious grounds.

    I suspect you would need to have preexisting relationships with the denomination before claiming it on a form, but that's just my assumption.

    Several...

    According to the vaccination and religion wiki, there are currently only two denominations that regularly are exempt: Christian Scientist and the Congregation of Universal Wisdom (the last is new to me). Jehovah's Witness won't receive blood transfusions and other blood products so tend to not object to vaccines on religious grounds.

    I suspect you would need to have preexisting relationships with the denomination before claiming it on a form, but that's just my assumption.

    Several orthodox rabbis even recently came out very pro vaccine, but there are individual groups that could have different opinions (there is no central authority for all groups) and some specific rabbis may have their own opinion about a particular or all vaccines. The majority of the larger groups are pro covid vaccine as far as I know.

    In a similar vein, smaller individual denominations of other religions that are independent from larger groups may have objections to vaccines. The pastor or leader of the organization would likely have some kind of written statement that the member could refer to for their exemption.

    The big point that United has to figure out is what is a reasonable accommodation. Working at home on a phone bank may be a reasonable accommodation compared to working at the gate, but I suspect there may be some push back from those employees and they would choose to leave.

    1. Andrew

      Thank you for this! I asked in another comment; good to know.

  17. kenindfw

    Companies are considering how they can best protect their workers and associates and interact with their customers/guests. It's as simple as that. No court or politician should mandate actions that put public health at risk. When people had tuberculosis, small pox and yellow fever, they were quarantined from others. I don't see much difference here. If you choose not take a vaccine then your choice is to isolate and quarantine until the variants have been...

    Companies are considering how they can best protect their workers and associates and interact with their customers/guests. It's as simple as that. No court or politician should mandate actions that put public health at risk. When people had tuberculosis, small pox and yellow fever, they were quarantined from others. I don't see much difference here. If you choose not take a vaccine then your choice is to isolate and quarantine until the variants have been eradicated.

  18. Johnny

    Good on united. Now take a few rows out of your planes so customers are crammed in there like sardines. You're protecting your employees, so how about some protection (and comfort) for customers.

  19. William

    Head to r/hermancainaward on Reddit to have a good laugh at these non vax retards.

    They make dumb posts on Facebook and then end up dead lol

    Great reading 5 out of 5 lol

    1. Don

      Dems love cheering the deaths of others.

    2. Alex

      Republicans like causing the deaths by banning masks and vaccine mandates!

      Which is worse?

    3. Jerry

      Gonna say cheering the deaths of others is worse. At least you didn’t deny that’s what dems secretly like.

    4. Jake212

      No Republicans are banning masks moron. They’re banning mask MANDATES! Feel free to wear a mask all you want! But don’t force people who don’t want to wear one to do it. Not sure how to dumb it down any further for you.

    5. Alex

      Jake212 you are not the brightest bulb if you don’t realize that wearing a mask or getting a vaccine not only protects you from COVID but also protects those around you from COVId. By refusing to wear a mask or get a vaccine you are endangering other people not just yourself. Banning mask and vaccine mandates literally kills people(and not just the fools who refuse to wear masks and get vaccines). Kids under 12 cannot get a vaccine.

  20. Eskimo

    DO IT!!!!! and somebody file a lawsuit against them.
    Please take this to court. all the way to supreme court. Let's find out if these judges have the balls to open this can of worm.

    Next stop, if your religions views reflect your political views you need to approval for these religious exemptions.
    My religion is prolife. Permission DENIED.
    My religion is prochoice. Permission DENIED.
    My religion worships AR-15. Permission DENIED.

    DO IT!!!!! and somebody file a lawsuit against them.
    Please take this to court. all the way to supreme court. Let's find out if these judges have the balls to open this can of worm.

    Next stop, if your religions views reflect your political views you need to approval for these religious exemptions.
    My religion is prolife. Permission DENIED.
    My religion is prochoice. Permission DENIED.
    My religion worships AR-15. Permission DENIED.
    My religion prohibits video conference. Permission DENIED.
    My religion won't tolerate dynamic award pricing and no charts. Permission DENIED.
    My religion says my gender have to wear face coverings. Permission DENIED.
    My religion doesn't allow me to work on Sundays. Permission DENIED.
    My religion stone says Honour thy father and thy mother, but I want them in retirement homes. Permission DENIED.
    My religion votes for Democrats. Permission DENIED.

    1. Ivan X

      You lolled this Democrat at dynamic award pricing and no charts.

  21. Tim Dunn

    Delta just provided information that their rate of vaccination has gone up from 74% to 78% across the company since they announced the insurance premium hikes that go into effect in almost 2 months. Delta’s strategy is getting people to get vaccinated who otherwise were not because Delta, like many companies, said their rates of vaccination were not increasing prior to their strategy changes.

    and a point that has not been addressed is how Delta,...

    Delta just provided information that their rate of vaccination has gone up from 74% to 78% across the company since they announced the insurance premium hikes that go into effect in almost 2 months. Delta’s strategy is getting people to get vaccinated who otherwise were not because Delta, like many companies, said their rates of vaccination were not increasing prior to their strategy changes.

    and a point that has not been addressed is how Delta, which announced its vaccination strategies AFTER United has not figured out its policies for unvaccinated employees but Delta has.

  22. Ken

    I'm enjoying seeing the outrage in the comments. Conservatives are always claiming that anything they don't agree with is either "socialist," "fascist," or any other hysterical term of choice. They never stop to consider how they are for the "free market" and against "cancel culture"...until they aren't. Go ahead with your boycott -- you think anyone cares? We're HAPPY to see you not on our planes. Buh-Bye!

    1. Johnny

      Amen! All for personal freedom and small government until it's something they don't like. We're looking at you texas and Florida!

    2. Roman Scott

      Unfortunately for Republitards, businesses don't want the liability of people dying under their watch, have CEOs who are smart enough to understand syunce[sic] and get that the more people get vaxxed, the less they lose in production time and profit.

      Bye bye anti-vaxers

    3. Don

      Silly dem, guess it’s hard for you to understand how you can be pro vax and anti mandate. Try to wrap Your indoctrinated brain around that concept.

    4. Alex

      Silly Republican I guess you can’t understand that without herd immunity we aren’t going to get out of this pandemic. You can’t really be pro vaccine if you don’t support the fundamental goal of the vaccine.

    5. Jerry

      Its a virus with a 99% survival rate WITHOUT a vaccine. With a vaccine it’s like 99.9%. Chill out with the authoritarianism.

    6. Alex

      Do you understand that if a disease has a 99% survival rate then 1% die? And 1% of the US population is over 3 million people. I don’t think “chilling out” about 3 million people dying is the right approach.

  23. Jim Baround

    Terrible interpretation in this piece. The unpaid leave is not United challenging an employees religious accommodation request. Anyone subject to this policy is having their request ACCEPTED (if the requested is challenged/declined they don't make it to this point).

    Also, unlike the vax requirement in general, the likelihood that this new policy actually affects more than a very small number of people is tiny. Much ado about nothing.

    1. David

      Overall yes a small minority, but working for a similarly sized company as United you would be surprised how many people have suddenly found religion since we announced a vaccine requirement for employees.

  24. Paul

    I just hope all anti vaxxers and anti maskers boycott United! (Safer for us who believe in science and reality when we're on a United flight.). Or they can protest by flying United, which would give business to a company they're protesting. No win for them! (This might be too complex of a concept.)

  25. Paul

    Religious exemption doesn't protect someone walking around a workplace with a loaded weapon and shooting indiscriminately. Similarly, unvaccinated people can have a large viral load and should not be allowed to spread the virus indiscriminately in the workplace.

    1. Alan

      Are you aware that someone vaccinated can have a higher viral load and you might be the next breakthrough infection?

    2. Alex

      Are you aware that 99% of COVID deaths are now from unvaccinated people? So even if you get a breakthrough case your chance of surviving infection is almost 100%

    3. Jerry

      Thank you for proving the point that mandating vaccines for everyone isn’t about protecting the vaccinated.

    4. Alex

      Jerry, do you not get that kids under 12 cannot get vaccinated?

  26. GBOAC

    Over 50 comments so far and I have yet to see a valid example of a religious claim for exemption. While I willingly eat some form of pork, others don't and I suspect an airline that forced their employees to eat pork would be successfully challenged on religious grounds.
    Anyone out there can share with us what the religious grounds for vaccination exemption are?

  27. David Ourisman

    @ Tim Dunn. Your argument has a fallacy. If the entire population has achieved herd immunity against the Covid-19 vaccine, the virus is still spreading. It doesn't matter if United employees are 70% vaccinated, because United employees are interacting with a total population that has NOT achieved herd immunity. Unvaccinated employees are at risk of being infected by the virus out in the world, bringing it onto planes, and potentially infecting fellow employees and passenger.

    ...

    @ Tim Dunn. Your argument has a fallacy. If the entire population has achieved herd immunity against the Covid-19 vaccine, the virus is still spreading. It doesn't matter if United employees are 70% vaccinated, because United employees are interacting with a total population that has NOT achieved herd immunity. Unvaccinated employees are at risk of being infected by the virus out in the world, bringing it onto planes, and potentially infecting fellow employees and passenger.

    So frustrating that the vaccines are out there and that they could substantially put an end to this pandemic, if only most people would get jabbed.

    1. Tim Dunn

      Let's be clear that I have been vaccinated and did so at the first opportunity for my age in my state.
      And I agree that everyone that can get the vaccine should get it.

      But there are clearly huge parts of the ADULT population that do not want a vaccine and the fact that there isn't a single other mandatory adult vaccine required for all of American society highlights why vaccine pushes will be...

      Let's be clear that I have been vaccinated and did so at the first opportunity for my age in my state.
      And I agree that everyone that can get the vaccine should get it.

      But there are clearly huge parts of the ADULT population that do not want a vaccine and the fact that there isn't a single other mandatory adult vaccine required for all of American society highlights why vaccine pushes will be divisive. Steamrolling over people's objections not only is not going to solve the problem of virus spread but it will create enormous societal divisions that I guarantee you will be far deeper than the benefit from shooting for an arbitrary vaccination goal.

      The vaccinated are heavily protected from serious disease. Your argument fails because United cannot eliminate unvaccinated passengers from its flights - which will contact UA employees.

      The unvaccinated including at UA should assume the risk for their behavior but so should smokers, drug users, and those that refuse to do what is necessary to reduce their health care burden on society should pay a higher price - but that is not happening.

      Covid is not going away. Figuring out how to successfully manage it has to happen. It is highly doubtful that vaccine mandates will work and will probably create more problems than they solve esp. if large portions of workers decide to leave the workforce rather than take a vaccine.

      Let's see what the President says later today

    2. Johnny

      Umm, were you ever a child that went to school in America? Do you have children in school. Vaccines are absolutely required.

      Nobody screaming about seat belt laws, or public decency laws, both meant for public health and safety, same as the vaccine

    3. Roman Scott

      I get your aren't against vaxing so I'm not here to bash, rather discuss. Your argument has holes in it.... Smiking & drug use... yo can't infect someone with lung cancer, diabetes or by overdosing. You can kill someone with an infectious disease you don't even know you're spreading.

      For that reason, I mask up whenever in any sort of crowd again as I get I may have Covid and be spreading it, despite...

      I get your aren't against vaxing so I'm not here to bash, rather discuss. Your argument has holes in it.... Smiking & drug use... yo can't infect someone with lung cancer, diabetes or by overdosing. You can kill someone with an infectious disease you don't even know you're spreading.

      For that reason, I mask up whenever in any sort of crowd again as I get I may have Covid and be spreading it, despite being fully vaxed.

      There is no "adult" vaccine. It's only that this vaccine has only been approved, at this point, for those 12 and over. The virus doesn't give a crap how old you are, despite effecting those older and with underlying conditions most.

      Those who do not want the vaccine, have dug their heels in. At this point it isn't an information issue. There is more than enough info for them to get educated. Making life as uncomfortable as possible is a last resort.....but we're there.

      If they don't want to be a participant in society, let's edit them out of it with incredibly strict rules & regs. That, and mass vaccination world-wide is what needs to be done if we ever intend to get this under control.

      If they want to quit their jobs, go ahead. Remember, no more checks and no more eviction protection.

  28. Michael Joseph McElroy

    not flying united again.

    1. Paul

      Safer too if more anti vaxxers boycott United! Win win for us.

  29. Tim Dunn

    First, the US set a goal of 70% vaccination for the population as a whole because 100% vaccination is neither necessary to achieve herd immunity or is realistically attainable and yet companies like United are still pushing for 100% vaccination.
    Second, vaccination does not eliminate the potential to carry or transmit the virus but rather to reduce the risk of serious illness for those that are infected. People who are not vaccinated are hurting...

    First, the US set a goal of 70% vaccination for the population as a whole because 100% vaccination is neither necessary to achieve herd immunity or is realistically attainable and yet companies like United are still pushing for 100% vaccination.
    Second, vaccination does not eliminate the potential to carry or transmit the virus but rather to reduce the risk of serious illness for those that are infected. People who are not vaccinated are hurting themselves and are costing their insurers more – which is why Delta’s strategy makes far more scientific sense.
    Third, Delta and United have both said that at least 70% of their employees are vaccinated so they not only exceed US vaccination rates but they exceed the levels needed for herd immunity given that 10% or more of the US population has natural/disease-induced immunity. Further, unless employees are liked at work, they are at risk from sources outside of the workplace.

    United’s investor guidance update says it no longer expects to be profitable; Delta is the only one of the big 4 that expects to be profitable on a pre-tax adjusted basis (excluding government aid). Now that government money is running out and not likely to be renewed, airlines’ own strategies will be shown to work or not. United’s commercial strategies are not delivering as well as other airlines and, in typical United fashion, it is pushing on its employees.
    Given that United and the AFA already agreed not to challenge United’s decision to put unvaccinated flight attendants on unpaid leaves, they are proving why the historic United-union dynamic hasn’t changed at all.

    1. Ed

      This is absolute bollocks.

      Even if 70% was a minimum standard for herd immunity (it’s not delta variant blew that out of the water); United employees move in and out of communities with much lower rates of vaccination. You can’t treat a mobile workforce that interacts with the general public as a population for the purposes of calculating herd immunity.

      100% is what a responsible employer with a strong work health and safety...

      This is absolute bollocks.

      Even if 70% was a minimum standard for herd immunity (it’s not delta variant blew that out of the water); United employees move in and out of communities with much lower rates of vaccination. You can’t treat a mobile workforce that interacts with the general public as a population for the purposes of calculating herd immunity.

      100% is what a responsible employer with a strong work health and safety should be aiming for, because the vaccine itself is imperfect. Anything else is putting your employees and customers at risk.

  30. Donna

    Excellent move by UA. It’s a sound business decision. Unvaccinated employees, even masked, can present a danger to children not eligible for vaccines and other vulnerable vaccinated adults. Furthermore, why should UA pay for the extreme hospitalization costs of unvaccinated adults? I find it the height of hypocrisy that these anti-vaccine religious scruples do not stand in the way from going all-in on monoclonal antibody treatment when they do get sick with the virus.

    Excellent move by UA. It’s a sound business decision. Unvaccinated employees, even masked, can present a danger to children not eligible for vaccines and other vulnerable vaccinated adults. Furthermore, why should UA pay for the extreme hospitalization costs of unvaccinated adults? I find it the height of hypocrisy that these anti-vaccine religious scruples do not stand in the way from going all-in on monoclonal antibody treatment when they do get sick with the virus.

  31. Ben Benson

    Applaud UAL for moving in this direction and hope all other customer facing organizations follow.
    Also refreshing to note that med professionals are starting to refuse COVID treatment to the un-vaxxed.
    Grew weary of the "you can't tell me what to do" crowd some time ago.
    The unconvinced should review history.
    Time now for a concerted effort from leadership at all levels to get this done.

    Best

  32. OneOfTheFewNonIdiotsInFlorida

    Hands down this has made my decision on who to fly with in the future very clear. United. I am impressed with this policy and their focus on taking care of their vaccinated employees and customers (regardless of vaccinated status). Especially, when uneducated individuals don't realize that being vaccinated is only part of the process to keeping people safe; and ignore the fact we have had vaccine mandates for students since the mid 1800s and...

    Hands down this has made my decision on who to fly with in the future very clear. United. I am impressed with this policy and their focus on taking care of their vaccinated employees and customers (regardless of vaccinated status). Especially, when uneducated individuals don't realize that being vaccinated is only part of the process to keeping people safe; and ignore the fact we have had vaccine mandates for students since the mid 1800s and in 1977 all 50 states required vaccinations for seven diseases.

    1. Chris in BZN

      Don't forget George Washington, who created the first vaccine mandate in our land by requiring a (pretty gruesome) smallpox vaccine in our revolutionary forces to safeguard the force as a whole. It helped keep the army safer so they could hold their own against the redcoats. The founding fathers understood that "liberty" does not mean you can do whatever you want even if it risks harm to other people.

    2. Don

      you’ll only fly united until southwest flies the route for cheaper. And then you’ll fly southwest until delta flies it cheaper.

  33. SEM

    No one is mentioning the Medical exemptions here…Looks like all of those employees are being sent out on Medical leave…

    1. Tim Dunn

      even more certain to result in legal action that for religious exemptions.

      Delta said it expects 5-10% of its employees to have legitimate medical or religious exemptions.

      United can afford to lose 10% of its staff right now but 30% of the nurses at a major Cincinnati hospital said they would quit their jobs rather than be vaccinated. Public unions in Chicago are fighting vaccine mandates. The implications for service in the US are...

      even more certain to result in legal action that for religious exemptions.

      Delta said it expects 5-10% of its employees to have legitimate medical or religious exemptions.

      United can afford to lose 10% of its staff right now but 30% of the nurses at a major Cincinnati hospital said they would quit their jobs rather than be vaccinated. Public unions in Chicago are fighting vaccine mandates. The implications for service in the US are profound as vaccine mandates kick in.

  34. RMC

    People are free to believe what they may believe, but they are not to act based on those beliefs when they can hurt people in ways that we have recognized in law. So it’s freedom of religion and freedom from religion. We do not encourage “eye for an eye to resolve disputes nor do we cut off hands for stealing, but we seem to be going in that direction, however. Sad.

    1. Oke

      Please provide a legit example of religious exemption?

  35. john

    I am not religious at all but doesn't this seem like in Revelations where you have to have the mark to buy anything or do anything can anybody see the correlation between having this vaccine and having the mark like in the Bible and I will say I am vaccinated I am neither anti-vaccination norpro vaccination I just thought I should get this but it worries me that this might come true that one might...

    I am not religious at all but doesn't this seem like in Revelations where you have to have the mark to buy anything or do anything can anybody see the correlation between having this vaccine and having the mark like in the Bible and I will say I am vaccinated I am neither anti-vaccination norpro vaccination I just thought I should get this but it worries me that this might come true that one might have to have a vaccination to do any kind of trading or jobs or anything in this country or in this world and that speaks to the part in Revelations thank you for your time

    1. Tortuga

      I am not fantastical at all but doesn't this seem like in Lord of the Rings where you have to have the One Ring to conquer Middle Earth or do spells can anybody see the correlation between having this vaccine and having the One Ring like in the Lord of the Rings and I will say I am vaccinated I am neither anti-ring nor pro ring I just thought I should get this but it...

      I am not fantastical at all but doesn't this seem like in Lord of the Rings where you have to have the One Ring to conquer Middle Earth or do spells can anybody see the correlation between having this vaccine and having the One Ring like in the Lord of the Rings and I will say I am vaccinated I am neither anti-ring nor pro ring I just thought I should get this but it worries me that this might come true that one might have to have a ring to do any kind of wizardry or woodcraft or anything in Middle Earth or in Ea and that speaks to the part in Lord of the Rings thank you for your time

    2. beth

      I laughed waaaaay too much at this. Thank you, this is great.

    3. john

      I do not know why you people think this is so funny my comment just look at your history books and look at the Bible this vaccination making people get it people going to have to get a vaccination to do any kind of trading and everybody is laughing about that it's not a joke what about hap what happened to when a woman says that is pro-choice she still has my body my life shouldn't the vaccination be the same thing

    4. Alex

      A women’s right to choose doesn’t put the rest of the population at risk of contracting a terrible disease. Not getting a COVID vaccine does put the public(and yourself)at much higher risk of getting. cOVId.

    5. Jerry

      @Alex
      The survival rate for covid is 99% WITHOUT a vaccine. With a vaccine it’s like 99.9%. Fund something else to worry about.

    6. Alex

      Jerry 1% of the US population is over 3 million people! worrying about the deaths of 3 million people when 600,000 have already died from COVID seems very reasonable.

  36. stogieguy7

    If you're vaccinated, then the unvaccinated pose no more risk to you than anyone else. So I don't agree with (or understand) the comments about them placing "my life or my family's life" in danger. If you and your family are vaccinated, then they don't; they actually place themselves more at risk of hospitalization. This fascist attitude about vaccination thus amazes me because it defies logic. (Disclaimer: I received the vaccine at the soonest date...

    If you're vaccinated, then the unvaccinated pose no more risk to you than anyone else. So I don't agree with (or understand) the comments about them placing "my life or my family's life" in danger. If you and your family are vaccinated, then they don't; they actually place themselves more at risk of hospitalization. This fascist attitude about vaccination thus amazes me because it defies logic. (Disclaimer: I received the vaccine at the soonest date that it was available to me - so I'm not an anti-vax guy.)

    One more thing: COVID isn't like polio. It will never be vanquished by a vaccine. It's more like the flu. So, thanks to the fine CCP folks in Wuhan (with an assist from Fauci), we will have to learn to live with it for the rest of our lives.

    1. Never In Doubt

      Fascist? It’s a workplace requirement that I’d enact in a heartbeat to save healthcare costs alone.

      I agree COVID’s never going away, but blaming Fauci for any of this exposes your nutjobbery.

    2. stogieguy7

      Fauci helped fund the gain of function research in Wuhan that led to this. It's not nutjobbery, it's a fact and he may eventually end up facing charges over it. And yes, the attitude toward vaccination is fascist in that you want to force people to do what you want under threat of punishment - even if what they're doing (or not doing) will not hurt you (as I outlined above). That's fascist. And nutjobbery...

      Fauci helped fund the gain of function research in Wuhan that led to this. It's not nutjobbery, it's a fact and he may eventually end up facing charges over it. And yes, the attitude toward vaccination is fascist in that you want to force people to do what you want under threat of punishment - even if what they're doing (or not doing) will not hurt you (as I outlined above). That's fascist. And nutjobbery is evident every day in people who freak out if someone isn't wearing a mask. Which real science will tell you makes little difference.

    3. Ole

      Please read the facts, Fauci didn’t help fund anything. There is as much proof of a lab leak as there is of animal transmission. So don’t listen to your overlords (Fox, OAN). Forcing people to get vaccinated for greater good of the society is facism, not sure what I’d call criminalizing a scientific procedure for certain population of this country? Hey but that serves my purpose so who cares.

    4. Alex

      Stogieguy7 you know that children under 12 cannot get the vaccine right? So adults and children over 12 who refuse to get the vaccine and putting kids lives in danger? You don’t want kids to end up in the hospital? Right?

    5. GBOAC

      Stogieguy7 claims" "If you're vaccinated, then the unvaccinated pose no more risk to you than anyone else."
      Wrong. Ask the growing number of fully-vaccinated people who have suffered breakthrough infections. Yes they are not likely to be as dangerous as they are to unvaccinated, but they do pose medical risk. In addition even if you are not infected, a large number of unvaccinated folks can promote the emergence of new variants that may affect the fully vaccinated.

    6. stogieguy7

      Vaccinated people can transmit the disease as well. Face it, this is like influenza: you'll need an annual vaccination which will be no guarantee of not getting it - but which will vastly lower your odds of hospitalization. While I think being anti-vax is wrongheaded and kinda dumb, I also think it's wrong to scapegoat these people. They place themselves at risk more than anyone else.

      It's not yet proven, but there are theories...

      Vaccinated people can transmit the disease as well. Face it, this is like influenza: you'll need an annual vaccination which will be no guarantee of not getting it - but which will vastly lower your odds of hospitalization. While I think being anti-vax is wrongheaded and kinda dumb, I also think it's wrong to scapegoat these people. They place themselves at risk more than anyone else.

      It's not yet proven, but there are theories that new variants may actually be spurred as a response to vaccines. So, I don't recommend hanging your hat on that argument.

  37. Steve

    Each person should be allowed to make their own health decisions. Science says masks work. If you're going to follow the science, you can wear a mask and you can require the employees to wear masks. Science also says people who are vaccinated can become infected and spread the virus. This isn't about promoting health, it's about enforcing the will of the majority on the minority. Boycott United.

    1. stogieguy7

      Masks actually do not work very well - especially cloth masks, which are next to useless. How would I know? Years of work with PPE as part of my profession. You'd need a minimum of N95, preferably P100, protection to prevent transmission and you can't wear those things all day, every day. They put too much strain on your respiratory system.

    2. Ole

      BS, they don’t. I wear it, my wife wears it 10 hrs a day straight and she hasn’t complained once about strain on respiratory system. Thousands of nurses and doctors wear that as well. We all know you are stupid, you don’t need to open your mouth to prove it.

    3. Alex

      Please talk to a nurse or Dr and they will helpfully explain that you can in fact wear PPE and respirators all day every day for work!

    4. Paul

      Anti vaxxers can make their decision to not be vaccinated. Enterprises can make the decision to not employ these people. Stores and restaurants can make their decision to not allowed these people in. It's all freedom of choice and consequences. Adults should know this.

    5. Alex

      Science also proves that wearing a mask helps protect others from getting sick and so does getting a vaccine. This isn’t all about just you. that self centered thinking is killing people. Kids under 12 cannot get vaccinated. You don’t want to get kids sick right?

  38. carrie johnston

    I'm impressed with their multifaceted approach to this very real problem. While people have taken advantage of religious exemptions in the past, this is a case where businesses should feel confident asking employees to prove it. As was previously commented, leaders of most mainstream religious organizations have supported vaccination, so their followers cannot reasonably claim it's against their religion.

  39. Pamm

    Only the Dutch Reformed Church and the Christian Science Church don't believe in vaccinations.

    It seems that all of a sudden, their congregation has grown by millions who want to claim religious exemptions.

    Should be easy enough to verify.

    1. AW

      I'm not aware that the Dutch Reformed Church has any issues with vaccinations. Source: my Dutch Reformed grandfather was a doctor who was vaccinated and spent plenty of time vaccinating the Dutch Reformed people in his neighborhood.

  40. MildMidwesterner

    I've frequently prayed to get off of a United flight, but this is a whole other level.

  41. Ryan

    There's basically no major religion that prohibits vaccines. The whole 'religious exemption' is a red herring argument. I think it's great that United is taking such a firm stance and ensuring that this potential legal loophole can't be abused.

    1. Pamm

      Except for Christian Scientists. I think they are a major religion, but I am not sure about the Dutch Reformed Church.

      Bravo to United.

  42. Jerry

    Why are people flying if they are scared of Covid, or any infectious disease for that matter? You can always drive, or just not go to wherever you are flying. You can also double mask with n95 and face shield and vaxxed. Why should someone be forced to inject an experimental substance into their body to accomodate easily mitigated fears to participate in an optional activity?

    1. Never In Doubt

      It’s really pissing you off that a company has created workplace requirements you disagree with.

      Hilarious!

    2. DCA Will Always Be "National"

      Right? And these are usually the same folks that are screaming "Government out of big business - let the market sort it out and businesses deem what's best!" Then when businesses deem what's best and it clashes with these dipshits' beliefs, suddenly the opposite is true and businesses need to be regulated.

    3. Jerry

      It’s really pissing you off that you know I have a point.

    4. Arie

      No one ie being forced into getting a vaccine, but we are given options. Each option has consequences.

      This is not an experimental vaccine, it is approved by every country in the world and has more studies associated with it than aspirin. There have been 5.5 billion shots administered so far with very minor side effects.

    5. cj

      Um . . . . It's no longer experimental. Any other unfounded reasoning or junk science excuses?

    6. Jerry

      Hi CJ!
      Right because every FDA approved medicine with a 6month study interval has been a complete success and have never had any adverse outcomes. Not even being able to criticize or question this has become heresy.

    7. Ryan R

      Nobody is being forced. Those who don't want to do so just won't fly, as you yourself suggested.

    8. BookLvr

      Why are people working for an airline if they are scared of the COVID vaccine, or any vaccine for that matter? They can always work for another employer, or start their own business. Why should the flying public be forced to be shut in a narrow metal tube at 30,000 feet to accommodate easily mitigated fears of the small group airline employees who don't understand their job is to safeguard passengers and their co-workers?

    9. Jerry

      Flying is an optional life activity. Never has to be done.
      If you want to say hospital workers should be vaxxed, then I think you may have a vaild argument since going to the hospital is usually not optional. But flying is.

    10. GBOAC

      Jerry's logic is totally upside down.
      If I'm against people driving under the influence, it's easy just stay of off the road. Why should I be forced to give up liquor to accommodate someone easily mitigated fears about drunk drivers.

    11. Jerry

      Why don’t we make alcohol illegal then?
      If you are supportive of making people not be able to work or participate in society because they dont want something forced into their body, would you support government assistance for these people to maintain their lives as they currently are?

    12. Jerry

      @Tiffany. I registered under the name Jerry, and this guy is spoiling my good name! Is there not a way to disallow comments from usernames that are already registered?

    13. Jerry

      Hi Jerry! Great name!
      Just wondering what I said that was not true? Or do you just get mad at everyone who has different opinions than you?

    14. David

      @imposter Jerry allow me to respond on behalf of @original Jerry. You've said several things that aren't true:
      1) The COVID vaccines are not experimental. I would actually be curious at what point you would consider it not to be experimental. After the next billion doses?
      2) No one is being forced to be vaccinated. United employees are free to not be vaccinated, but choices have consequences and United has the right to...

      @imposter Jerry allow me to respond on behalf of @original Jerry. You've said several things that aren't true:
      1) The COVID vaccines are not experimental. I would actually be curious at what point you would consider it not to be experimental. After the next billion doses?
      2) No one is being forced to be vaccinated. United employees are free to not be vaccinated, but choices have consequences and United has the right to say we're not going to employ you if you choose to put others at risk.
      3) Your asserting that the rights of those that choose not to be vaccinated are more important than the rights of those who do? Why should those who wish to avoid the unvaccinated need to find an alternate form of transit; someone who chooses to be unvaccinated, maybe needs to find an alternate form of employment.
      4) Banning alcohol and prohibiting drunk driving are not the same thing. In fact it's a great analogy: any individual is free to get as drunk as they want in their own home; they only break the law when they get behind the wheel of a car and get behind the wheel. If someone wants to not get vaccinated that's absolutely their right, but doesn't give them the right to fully participate in society and put others at greater risk because of their choices.

    15. Jerry

      @David
      1) Do you have any data on the 10 year effects of the vaccine? How about 5 years? 2 years? A real FDA approved drug does, and that doesn’t even mean much.
      2) If you want to support yourself with a job instead of government handouts and participate in society, I’d say that is pretty much the definition of force unless your definition is do it or die right now.
      3)...

      @David
      1) Do you have any data on the 10 year effects of the vaccine? How about 5 years? 2 years? A real FDA approved drug does, and that doesn’t even mean much.
      2) If you want to support yourself with a job instead of government handouts and participate in society, I’d say that is pretty much the definition of force unless your definition is do it or die right now.
      3) getting the vaccine is a choice. By default, we are unvaccinated, so technically you are making the choice to be vaccinated. So if you choose to do something, you can make the choice to have less rights, not the other way around. Liberty 101.
      4) banning alcohol would make us even safer, and if your argument is safety, then why would we not do everything we can to make sure there are no risks to anything. Alcohol is not necessary to life, so seems like most people should be for banning it since it seems to cause lots of deaths every year.
      Life is filled with risk. Trying to strike the balance between freedom and risk is basically the foundation of America. But living without a vaccine is not a choice. It’s a default. Getting vaccinated is the choice.

    16. Never In Doubt

      Since OMAAT made comments registration optional, there’s likely nothing they can do. And it’s definitely not worth their time to bother.

      Welcome to the Internet!

    17. Alex

      Kids under 12 cannot get a vaccine and by not getting vaccinated you are putting them at risk.

    18. Don

      Yea that argument stopped working once people realized more kids die of the normal flu every year.

    19. BookLvr

      I mean...I get the flu vaccine every year too because I work at a college. My employer asks us to do so and has vaccine clinics on campus. So I think the argument still works.

      In both cases, I am concerned about my own health AND the health of the community.

      Most colleges also require students living in residence halls to be vaccinated against a whole range of other diseases, including meningitis, which...

      I mean...I get the flu vaccine every year too because I work at a college. My employer asks us to do so and has vaccine clinics on campus. So I think the argument still works.

      In both cases, I am concerned about my own health AND the health of the community.

      Most colleges also require students living in residence halls to be vaccinated against a whole range of other diseases, including meningitis, which kills fewer people per year than either the flu or COVID. I would still defend that decision, because meningitis is highly contagious and students living in residence halls are exposed to lots of other students.

    20. Alex

      You are completely wrong about that and any google search will show you the facts. According to the CDC, one child under 18 years old died from the flu in the whole country during the 2020-2021 flu season.

  43. shoeguy

    Totally agree with UA. If you don't like the company's policy, then leave. Find another job. And if you're refusing a vaccine, don't have a health issue standing in the way of you getting one, then YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.

  44. NYGuy24

    I don't have any sympathy for people claiming religious exemptions. Your religious beliefs don't entitle you to put the life/health of myself, my family and friends at risk. If you feel that strongly about your religious beliefs get another job. People with legitimate medical exemptions I do have sympathy for, but they can't be working with the public and exposing people. If your health doesn't allow you to have the vaccine then maybe you shouldn't...

    I don't have any sympathy for people claiming religious exemptions. Your religious beliefs don't entitle you to put the life/health of myself, my family and friends at risk. If you feel that strongly about your religious beliefs get another job. People with legitimate medical exemptions I do have sympathy for, but they can't be working with the public and exposing people. If your health doesn't allow you to have the vaccine then maybe you shouldn't be out there with the public risking getting covid in the first place if you have such severe health concerns though.

    1. Bagoly

      Agree.
      But the word "medical exemption" sets off people on the wrong track.
      The people who cannot have the vaccine for medical reasons (distinct from those who do have it but it doesn't help them) "medically unable", or "medially advised against" - does anybody have any better terminology?

  45. John R

    Heard that the process asked if the employee had ever received any type of vaccine previously? If the answer was yes, it eliminated the option to have a religious exemption. All former military and most anyone that has attended a US Public school would have said yes.

  46. Timo

    This entire pandemic comes down to if you value liberty over safety. Your choice. In hindsight we will see which was the better option.

    1. Chris

      False - this is not a pandemic issue. EVERY law comes down to if you value liberty over safety... DUI Laws, Homicide laws, Speed limits, Sexual Assault laws. Each one takes away a "liberty" in the interest of safety.

    2. Tim Dunn

      Restraining behavior and requiring medical treatment are not at all the same thing - and you should be able to see that.

      Please tell me what other vaccine is mandatory for all Americans and you will understand why vaccination mandates are and will be problematic anywhere in a democratic society.

      And there are not just southerners or even Americans that object to mandatory covid management policies.

    3. Never In Doubt

      “Please tell me what other vaccine is mandatory for all Americans and you will understand why vaccination mandates are and will be problematic anywhere in a democratic society.”

      All Americans? None!

      Americans who wish to attend most public (and many private) schools? Lots!

      But we all know your question was just a straw man pulled from the nut job echo chamber talking points!

      You don’t like the vaccine, but you don’t want people to think you’re a Neanderthal!

    4. Tim Dunn

      Since I said above that I got a vaccine at the earliest opportunity to do so, you would be wrong.

      And thank you for confirming that not ALL Americans are required to get a vaccine. Adults are Americans and there isn't a single vaccine that Americans have to get.

      And you still can't grasp that, although I am pro-vaccine, I am capable of seeing the enormous societal issues that mandates are creating.

      When 1/3 of...

      Since I said above that I got a vaccine at the earliest opportunity to do so, you would be wrong.

      And thank you for confirming that not ALL Americans are required to get a vaccine. Adults are Americans and there isn't a single vaccine that Americans have to get.

      And you still can't grasp that, although I am pro-vaccine, I am capable of seeing the enormous societal issues that mandates are creating.

      When 1/3 of nurses at one major Cincinnati hospital said they would quit their jobs before getting the vaccine, this isn't a southern issue and it also crosses educational lines - since nurses do have at least some college or professional training and many have bachelor's or higher degrees.

      I'm pro-science but I also respect people's choice. I'm not sure why you can't marry both science - which says vaccines work to reduce disease for those that become infected - while also allowing people who choose not to get vaccinated to pay the price for their own decisions.

    5. Jerry

      Obviously if we mandated everyone needed to inject a tracker and microphone under their skin, we would be able to solve most crimes pretty quick and it would most likely reduce crime and safety for society in general. Why don’t we just do that then?

    6. Alex

      We don’t need to do that because everyone already carries around a cell phone with a microphone and tracker in it! Funny how people aren’t throwing their phones away in the name of “freedom and liberty”

    7. Eskimo

      @Chris

      False - Not EVERY law comes down to if you value liberty over safety.

      I can say almost every tax laws takes away a "liberty" from my wallet and isn't in the interest of safety.

      Stop being the biased who spread fake news. Conservatives and Liberals are doing the same.

    8. GBOAC

      So where were all of you who value liberty over safety when the Patriot Act was passed after 9/11. All I remember was crickets:-(

    9. David

      There are two concepts of liberty. All you are referring to is negative liberty. Getting a pandemic under control so that society can go back to being free and normal, and making sure as many people can live (and live in good health) is just as important, and is also liberty (positive liberty).

  47. Morgan

    Good on you United! Fantastic policy I agree with.

  48. RANDY JACOBSON

    Good move United. As a customer I wouldn't fly on any airline that has unvaccinated workers interacting with the public either on the ground or in the air.

  49. Flyingdoctorwu

    Most religions are in favor of the vaccine. The pope says it’s the moral thing to do. Those who object based on use of fetal tissue cell lines have had their opportunity to object to hundreds of precious medical therapies that have used such cell lines over the past decades. I haven’t seen such an outcry till now. Vaccination isn’t a personal choice it’s a public health choice. It needs to be done in sufficient...

    Most religions are in favor of the vaccine. The pope says it’s the moral thing to do. Those who object based on use of fetal tissue cell lines have had their opportunity to object to hundreds of precious medical therapies that have used such cell lines over the past decades. I haven’t seen such an outcry till now. Vaccination isn’t a personal choice it’s a public health choice. It needs to be done in sufficient amounts to be successful. It’s most obvious when childhood vaccination rates drop; you then see measles cases cropping up.

    1. Timo

      Any morality judgment of any vaccine is a dangerous path. Whether it's a religious leader claiming God or a president saying it's "patriotic" both are repugnant. Does anyone remember all the deserved pushback when the AIDS crisis was talked about in moral terms? I do. It's interesting that those same people are now the ones acting as the moral majority. United will certainly be in Court in the very near future over this.

  50. Alonzo

    The overwhelming majority of United's staff is vaccinated and has been for quite a few months now. So, this is a story why? Who cares.

    1. Never In Doubt

      We get it, you don’t like the United policy, but to write that would invite comments about that, so you’d rather hide behind this nonsense comment.

      As to your nonsense:

      On Aug 6, 60% of United’s workforce was vaccinated (see Reuters article linked above). Overwhelmingly? Months? 40% unvaccinated at the time seems pretty significant.

      Best of luck with your teeth grinding!

    2. Alonzo

      Cool, still the majority lmao. Go get a booster shot and stfu. I just flew United yesterday from IAH, very pleasant flight.

    3. Alonzo

      Directly from CNBC below on Aug. 6. The majority of the folks you interact with are the FA and maybe the pilot. In case you weren't aware lmao. The 60% you mentioned was AA, not United.

      Many of United's employees have already reported they have been vaccinated, including more than 90% of pilots and 80% of flight attendants, according to company officials. United didn't disclose the company's overall vaccination rate.

    4. Never In Doubt

      Huh? Why would I need a booster?

      Continue grinding your teeth about Ben’s article, but you might want to alert your dentist!

  51. Aerov53

    “It’s not often you see companies essentially challenge someone’s claim of a religious accommodation, but that’s exactly what United is doing here.”

    This is not what they are doing. What a they are doing is trying to determine what a reasonable accommodation is under the law. An accommodation for someone’s religious beliefs or medical situation cannot endanger the rest of the workforce or the customers. That makes it unreasonable. I like the approach for now....

    “It’s not often you see companies essentially challenge someone’s claim of a religious accommodation, but that’s exactly what United is doing here.”

    This is not what they are doing. What a they are doing is trying to determine what a reasonable accommodation is under the law. An accommodation for someone’s religious beliefs or medical situation cannot endanger the rest of the workforce or the customers. That makes it unreasonable. I like the approach for now. We’ll see how it’s enforced.

    1. LarryInNYC

      Thoughtful, accurate, concise, and correctly punctuated. So rare in the comments section these days!

    2. MikeFreebie

      This is news because it’s travel related, but many companies have already mandated vaccines. In Energy, most large Operators have mandated vaccines to return to the office, and have made it a requirement to be on any of their locations which basically means it’s a requirement to work at any service company that supports O&G. The ‘reasonable accommodation’ there seems to be that if you’re not vaccinated you have to quarantine in a hotel for...

      This is news because it’s travel related, but many companies have already mandated vaccines. In Energy, most large Operators have mandated vaccines to return to the office, and have made it a requirement to be on any of their locations which basically means it’s a requirement to work at any service company that supports O&G. The ‘reasonable accommodation’ there seems to be that if you’re not vaccinated you have to quarantine in a hotel for 4 days and (PCR) test negative twice. The company pays for the hotel and testing, but not your time since you’re quarantine before your 14-day work period begins. Nobody wants to sit in a hotel, unpaid, for 4 days when you could just get vaccinated instead, but it is an option,

  52. 305

    “United removes guidance, predicts non-profitable Q3 and Q4”

    That’s at least 75% of why this decision has been made. Unpaid leave = cost savings, just as things are looking bleak again for United’s finances

    1. Never In Doubt

      Is your implication that a company taking action to improve its financial situation is somehow nefarious?

      Or does the policy just upset you, and that was all you could come up with?

  53. Dennis

    This is how I see it. Firstly it is indeed very tricky. However, as someone that both used to have certain religious "exemptions" for things and also who totally respects each person's personal choices, I agree with the policy. Moving forward, this is the new requirement for this line of work and probably the broader industry (i.e. hotels). So people that cannot have vaccines for whatever reason, should look elsewhere. It's kind of like objecting...

    This is how I see it. Firstly it is indeed very tricky. However, as someone that both used to have certain religious "exemptions" for things and also who totally respects each person's personal choices, I agree with the policy. Moving forward, this is the new requirement for this line of work and probably the broader industry (i.e. hotels). So people that cannot have vaccines for whatever reason, should look elsewhere. It's kind of like objecting to killing people but being in the military. Or on a less religious note, not being able to do shift work/night shift and working as a flight attendant. Certain lines of work are simply not suitable and there are plenty of options that are.

  54. steven kapellas

    Most so-called religious leaders have posted pics of them getting vaccinated. Kinda hard to claim an exemption when your religious boss posted his vaccine card on TikTok.

  55. iv

    Totally agree with this. If employees don't like the policy they should find another job. Maybe they can find new employment at their church, temple, mosque, or Scientology.

    1. Alex

      Fully support this decision and I would now rather fly United than Delta or American.

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Aerov53

“It’s not often you see companies essentially challenge someone’s claim of a religious accommodation, but that’s exactly what United is doing here.” This is not what they are doing. What a they are doing is trying to determine what a reasonable accommodation is under the law. An accommodation for someone’s religious beliefs or medical situation cannot endanger the rest of the workforce or the customers. That makes it unreasonable. I like the approach for now. We’ll see how it’s enforced.

Ken

I'm enjoying seeing the outrage in the comments. Conservatives are always claiming that anything they don't agree with is either "socialist," "fascist," or any other hysterical term of choice. They never stop to consider how they are for the "free market" and against "cancel culture"...until they aren't. Go ahead with your boycott -- you think anyone cares? We're HAPPY to see you not on our planes. Buh-Bye!

Flyingdoctorwu

Most religions are in favor of the vaccine. The pope says it’s the moral thing to do. Those who object based on use of fetal tissue cell lines have had their opportunity to object to hundreds of precious medical therapies that have used such cell lines over the past decades. I haven’t seen such an outcry till now. Vaccination isn’t a personal choice it’s a public health choice. It needs to be done in sufficient amounts to be successful. It’s most obvious when childhood vaccination rates drop; you then see measles cases cropping up.

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