CHICAGO, IL – United Airlines became the first major U.S. carrier to mandate the COVID shots for its approximately 67,000 employees and now the airline is facing a shortage of pilots.
Last August, Liberty Counsel sent a demand letter to United Airlines on behalf of scores of airline employees with religious exemptions who were told they must get the COVID shots to receive vaccination by September 27, 2021 or face termination.
In a Senate hearing this week, United Airline’s CEO Scott Kirby stated, “We have almost 100 airplanes effectively grounded right now – regional aircraft, because there’s not enough pilots to fly them, which means we just can’t, at the moment, fly to all the small communities that we would like to.”
However, Kirby also defended a decision to mandate the shots for employees. He stated about 200 employees have been fired, including six pilots and 80 on unpaid leave out of about 13,000.
More than 2,000 employees have filed a class-action lawsuit against United Airlines for religious and medical discrimination over the unconstitutional shot mandate. United Airlines has illegally told its employees that to obtain a religious exemption they must be an adherent of a recognized religion with a history of opposition to vaccines. Employees are also being told they need to include a letter from a clergy to support their sincere religious beliefs. This is false and unlawful. The only issue is whether the employee has a sincere religious belief, not whether a clergy or a “recognized religion” agrees. Since all three of the currently available COVID-19 “vaccines” are developed and produced from, tested with, researched on, or otherwise connected with the aborted fetal cell lines, many United employees have sincerely held religious beliefs that compel them to abstain from accepting or injecting any of these shots, or taking those sold by companies that profit from the sale of injections and other products derived from abortion.
Not only do these administrative obstacles violate state and federal law but are also causing stress for United’s employees who are being forced to choose between keeping their jobs, which they love, and honoring their most deeply held religious beliefs about life, health and existence. This undue stress is a serious distraction, and distractions cause mistakes, and mistakes increase the risk of safety incidents affecting both employees and passengers.
However, neither the airline nor the union seem to be concerned with safety for their employees and passengers. For example, in the letter of agreement (LOA) between United Airlines and the pilots regarding COVID vaccinations, it admits that pilots could become disabled from the injections: “If a pilot suffers a medically-documented adverse reaction to COVID vaccination that prevents the pilot from exercising the privileges of a First Class Medical Certificate, the Company shall provide Company-paid drops (PDCP) until such time as the Pilot is able to exercise the privileges of a First Class Medical Certificate. Such period shall not exceed ninety (90) days.” The LOA goes on to say that if the pilot’s disability exceeds 90 days, the pilot can file for long-term disability.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “United Airlines is now feeling the financial effects of not accommodating religious exemptions for its employees. United employees can safely work without the COVID shots. However, the airline is violating federal and state law and jeopardizing the health and safety of their employees and passengers by pressuring them to get the COVID shots or be terminated.” Liberty Counsel is a public law firm and a news partner with the Wyoming News.