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United Airways accused of refusing worker exemptions to vaccine mandate By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A United Airways passenger jet takes off with New York Metropolis as a backdrop, at Newark Liberty Worldwide Airport, New Jersey, U.S. December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photograph

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By Daniel Wiessner

(Reuters) – United Airways Inc is dealing with claims that it unlawfully denied spiritual and medical exemptions from a requirement that workers obtain COVID-19 vaccines after allegedly making it troublesome for employees to use for them.

Six United workers filed a category motion in Texas federal courtroom on Tuesday claiming that employees who sought exemptions from the vaccine mandate have been subjected to intrusive inquiries about their medical circumstances or spiritual beliefs, together with a requirement that they get hold of letters from pastors.

Chicago-based United in an announcement mentioned the lawsuit was with out benefit, and that it has seen an overwhelmingly constructive response from workers since asserting its vaccine requirement final month. Greater than 97% of United’s U.S.-based workers are vaccinated, the airline mentioned.

The lawsuit highlights the thorny authorized points confronted by employers in mandating vaccines, and comes as President Joe Biden is searching for to require firms with 100 or extra workers to make sure their workforces are totally vaccinated or examined for COVID-19 weekly.

The plaintiffs on Wednesday requested the courtroom to briefly bar enforcement of United’s mandate for workers who request exemptions. United has required employees to obtain no less than the primary dose of a vaccine by Sept. 27 or face termination, in response to the lawsuit.

The airline has already confronted a separate authorized problem to its vaccine mandate, which was dismissed by a U.S. decide in Florida final week. The decide mentioned that lawsuit was not filed correctly.

The plaintiffs in Tuesday’s lawsuit say United gave workers solely till Aug. 31 to request spiritual or medical exemptions from the vaccine requirement, and that it has robotically denied requests filed after that deadline.

They accused United of violating federal legal guidelines prohibiting discrimination primarily based on faith and incapacity.

The employees are searching for to characterize a nationwide class that they mentioned would seemingly embrace greater than 2,000 United workers.

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