A federal judge sided with United Airlines employees who refuse to be vaccinated Tuesday, banning the airline from placing those who requested exemptions on unpaid leave. The airline and those employees had agreed last month to avoid unpaid leave, but U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman said that agreement would end before he could rule on the case’s merits. He then granted a restraining order, which runs through Oct. 26, for the employees, who are suing United. The plaintiffs, which represent some of the 2,000 employees the airlines said requested exemptions, hope to turn the lawsuit into a class-action case.
United has said it plans to work with those who seek exemptions through enhanced COVID-19 safety measures, including testing, or temporary reassignments. The airline’s CEO, Scott Kirby, told CBS This Morning that the 232 out of 67,000 employees who have not yet been vaccinated “are going through the termination process now.”