According to CNBC, Southwest Airlines has scrapped their plan to punish employees who refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccination.
On Friday, Southwest’s senior vice president of operations and hospitality, Steve Goldberg and vice president and chief people officer, Julie Weber, notified the company that unvaccinated employees would still be able to work past the originally planned December 8th deadline.
The decision by Southwest comes after the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association fought the company’s vaccine mandate in court.
“The new vaccine mandate unlawfully imposes new conditions of employment and the new policy threatens termination of any pilot not fully vaccinated by December 8, 2021,” the legal filing said.
“Southwest Airlines’ additional new and unilateral modification of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement is in clear violation of the RLA.”
This photo was just sent to me of a grounded Southwest plane flying a Gadsden flag out of the cockpit. The Hero Pilots at Southwest and other Airlines deserve our support. True patriots worthy of the American Freedom Fighter tradition.
Don’t Tread On Me.
God Bless Them 🇺🇸✈️🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/tAo9pT4Q60
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 11, 2021
Check out what CNBC reported:
Southwest Airlines has scrapped a plan to put unvaccinated employees who have applied for but haven’t received a religious or medical exemption on unpaid leave starting by a federal deadline in December.
Southwest’s senior vice president of operations and hospitality, Steve Goldberg, and Julie Weber, vice president and chief people officer, wrote to staff on Friday that if employees’ requests for an exemption haven’t been approved by Dec. 8, they could continue to work while following mask and distancing guidelines until the request has been reviewed.
The company is giving employees until Nov. 24 to finish their vaccinations or apply for an exemption. It will continue paying them while the company reviews their requests, and said it will allow those who are rejected to continue working “as we coordinate with them on meeting the requirements (vaccine or valid accommodation).”
“This is a change from what was previously communicated. Initially, we communicated that these Employees would be put on unpaid leave and that is no longer the case,” they wrote in the note, which was reviewed by CNBC.
Southwest confirmed the policy change, which comes just weeks before the deadline.