A religious and disability discrimination lawsuit against United Airlines has currently fallen under the jurisdiction of a Texas federal court. Six employees brought a class action lawsuit against United Airlines, which they filed on September 22. They alleged that the airlines unlawfully denied medical and religious exemptions to their vaccine mandate.
Details of the religious and disability lawsuit
Reuters reported that plaintiffs accused the airlines of conducting intrusive inquiries. The inquiry into religious beliefs included obtaining letters from pastors. The plaintiffs asked the court to temporarily bar vaccine enforcement for employees requesting exemptions. Earlier in the summer, airlines had given an August 31 deadline and would not accept requests for medical and religious exemptions after that date.
- United Airlines responded that the lawsuit had no merit. It stated that more than 97% of the U.S. based airlines workers were vaccinated and that employee response had been positive.
- United Airlines’ mandate required that all employees receive at least the first vaccine dose by September 27 or face termination.
- The plaintiffs in the lawsuit accused the airlines of discrimination based on disability and religion.
- A week earlier, other employees had brought a different lawsuit against United Airlines before a U.S. judge in Florida. The judge dismissed the lawsuit because it had not been filed properly.
- In addition, Reuters reported that United Airlines workers are now seeking a nationwide class action lawsuit. More than 2,000 United employees would be party to the lawsuit.
The importance of seeking legal counsel
Employers have faced difficult decisions during the pandemic. Creating a safe workplace where workers are not at risk for infection can be challenging. In addition, there are actions companies can take that reduce the risk of discrimination lawsuits. An experienced employment attorney can help with this. Even though the pandemic is creating emerging case law, our firm has decades of employment law experience to help you make wise legal decisions.