UNITED AIRLINES TEMPORARILY BLOCKED FROM ENFORCING VACCINE MANDATE
A federal judge in Texas issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against United Airlines on Wednesday, blocking the airline from imposing a vaccine mandate against any of its employees in a nationwide class-action lawsuit.
According to the judicial order…United Airlines is prohibited from placing employees with religious and medical exemptions on unpaid leave until October 26 while litigation continues. The judge also prohibited the airline from denying any employee requests for religious or medical exemptions…
Earlier in the case, the airline agreed of its own accord to postpone its vaccine mandate until October 15 for employees with exemptions during litigation. The day before the October 8 hearing, however, United filed a partial motion to dismiss, alleging the court lacked jurisdiction over the claims in the lawsuit. In order to allow the court reasonable time to respond…the judge issued the TRO.
United Airlines originally told its 67,000 U.S. employees they must be vaccinated against Chinese coronavirus (or secure an exemption) by September 27 or face termination…[A]ny employees with exemptions would still be considered employed but would be placed on unpaid leave and would lose their benefits for up to six years or until the airline deems pandemic conditions safe for unvaccinated employees to return, according to the complaint.
“It is unconscionable to force any person to undergo a medical treatment that they object to as a matter of faith,” said Ken Blackwell…currently with the American Constitutional Rights Union. “When so many other nations recognize that there is no medical reason for people with natural immunity to take a vaccine, it is essential that America lead the way to protect our citizens’ rights on that front also.”
The class action lawsuit, which powerhouse Washington, D.C. law firm Schaerr Jaffe filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in September, represents up to 2,000 United Airlines employees.
“The Court now concludes it is necessary to issue this Temporary Restraining Order to avoid risking irreparable injury and to maintain the status quo in this case pending the Court’s hearing and resolution of Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction,” Pittman wrote, noting that his order is not a ruling on the actual legality of the vaccine mandate…
The surprising judicial order comes at the end of several tumultuous weeks…
United Airlines instituted a potentially dangerous respirator mask mandate for unvaccinated employees just days after several employees filed the lawsuit alleging discrimination…concerning reasonable accommodations for…exemptions.
According to an internal memo obtained by Breitbart News, the airline has temporarily mandated that unvaccinated employees wear N-95 or KN95 respirator masks at all times, effective October 2, as it waits for “the outcome of the litigation”…
The memo continues in part:
…You must wear your mask at all times in all United locations, including outdoors and on aircraft (this includes for personal or business travel). You may remove your mask only when you are actively eating or drinking and you must put your mask back on in between bites and sips. To the extent possible, please only eat or drink outdoors or in rooms alone or when socially distanced from others. Failure to comply with this mask requirement is subject to disciplinary action as outlined in the mask policy in the Working Together Guidelines.
…Unvaccinated employees have also reportedly been isolated and bullied since the policy went into effect, sources told Breitbart News. Anyone who breaks the respirator policy could allegedly face termination…
The airline’s temporary respirator mandate is quite significant given the company’s alleged breach of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations in instituting it.
According to OSHA guidelines, N95 masks are considered to be air purifying negative pressure demand respirators, meaning employers requiring workers to wear them must comply with the OSHA Respiratory Protection Program. Under the program, OSHA requires employers to take several precautions to guarantee employee safety. These methods include…conducting medical evaluations to determine an employee’s ability to use a respirator…and conducting written evaluations to ensure the respiratory program is being properly followed…
When properly worn, N95s and KN95 provide better protection than regular face masks against Chinese coronavirus. However, respirators, when improperly worn or worn for too long, can cause severe side effects and potential injury.
As a result, several employees have allegedly suffered health issues and have even been badly injured, according to a United Airlines employee…:
Several alleged injuries resulting from improper respirator use include:…
- A flight attendant allegedly fainted and fell into a jump seat
- A baggage handler working in extreme heat (up to 120 degrees) in an aircraft belly allegedly passed out and fell face first on a belt loader, suffering additional injuries.
- An agent allegedly fainted while in an office. Paramedics were called and had to cut the respirator off the employee’s face.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has openly acknowledged the dangers of improper and prolonged N95 usage, though in reference to healthcare workers…
Following several alleged injuries, the airline reportedly took a post-modern approach and issued a disclaimer to its staff, claiming that the N95s and KN95s are only meant to be used as masks, not as respirators, therefore absolving the company of any responsibility to provide training etc….
Breitbart News reached out the the airline to ask how an N95 — scientifically — could be used not as intended by its design, but as a regular mask. The publication also…asked…why unvaccinated employees cannot simply wear normal cloth or paper face masks…
On October 3, just one day after the company reportedly instituted its potentially dangerous respirator policy, the airline allegedly knowingly allowed a flight containing flight attendants exposed to Chinese coronavirus to travel from Newark to Mumbai, India, bringing into question the airline’s reported passion for keeping employees and passengers safe during the pandemic.
..[A]t least six crew members had close contact and even shook hands with a captain who ended up testing positive for the virus before the flight. The employees were all reportedly together in a small room for longer than 15 minutes while getting tested for the virus and were allegedly unable to maintain six feet of distance between each other…
The pilot was reportedly replaced before the flight…However, the exposed crew members, all of whom were vaccinated, allegedly remained on the flight.
According to sources familiar with the situation, an in-flight supervisor told the employees not to worry because symptoms take a few days to show up. Even though one of the employees reportedly felt sick, the supervisor ultimately told them to either stay on the flight or forgo getting paid.
While the six exposed employees allegedly returned from the trip unharmed, the employees did reportedly interact with nearly 200 passengers and hotel staff once in Mumbai…
The publication also asked if the airline made Indian health officials aware of exposure and did not hear back.
In further contradiction to the airline’s claims of cleanliness, sources familiar with the matter say the company has become extremely lax. According to a source with knowledge of the matter, dirty socks and slippers, used ear plugs, and various garbage has been left behind on flights — and that was after the cleaning crews “cleaned.”…
Democrats, who were formerly considered the party that championed workers’ rights, have largely touted vaccine mandates as lifesaving without acknowledging intrusions upon personal rights…
President @JoeBiden touts vaccination mandates as a success while speaking in Illinois.
Biden said, "United went from 59% of their employees to 99% of their employees (vaccinated) in two months after implementing the requirement."
— KUSI News (@KUSINews) October 7, 2021
Biden said during a speech in Illinois last week:
…I’ve spoke with Scott Kirby, the CEO of United Airlines who is here today. United went from 59 percent of their employees to 99 percent of their employees (vaccinated) in less than two months after implementing the requirement.
Biden failed, however, to connect the dots and explain that United’s high vaccination rate could be the result of mass firings of unvaccinated employees.
The six United Airlines employees who are suing the company for its “draconian”…vaccine mandate allege the company has violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)…
CEO Scott Kirby has made his apparent distaste for exemptions known to employees before, which employees alleged in the lawsuit complaint.
In a video from an August 25-26 a virtual internal Flight Ops Town Hall…Kirby can be heard talking about how difficult it will be for employees to obtain exemptions.
Breitbart News asked the airline if the internal footage shows hostility toward religious employees but did not receive a response…
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(Excerpt from Breitbart. Article by Katharine Hamilton. Photo Credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images).
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