Texas Judge Blocks United Airlines' Vaccine Mandate, Upholds Religious Exemptions After Public Outcry
By Gabriel Keane
Oct 13, 2021 - 10:23:38 PM
The court issued a temporary restraining order against United pending an evidentiary hearing
Texas Federal Judge Mark T. Pittman has issued a temporary restraining order against United Airlines, putting a stumbling block in the path of the corporation's restrictive and highly unpopular vaccine mandate.
"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," the court said.
"Specifically, the parties stipulated on September 24, 2021, that United would temporarily refrain from placing exempted employees on leave due to their lack of compliance with United's vaccine mandate. Absent entry of this Temporary Restraining Order, the parties' stipulation will expire before the Court can rule on whether a preliminary injunction is warranted."
The statement continued, "It is, therefore, ORDERED that, for the duration of this Temporary Restraining Order, United Airlines, Inc. is TEMPORARILY RESTRAINED and ENJOINED from placing any employee on unpaid leave if that employee was granted either a religious or medical exemption from United Airlines, Inc.'s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
"It is further ORDERED that United Airlines, Inc. is TEMPORARILY RESTRAINED and ENJOINED from denying any requests for religious or medical accommodations from United Airlines, Inc.'s COVID-19 vaccine mandate due to timeliness," the court said in conclusion.
The unpopularity of airline vaccine mandates led to a passenger named "No Mandates" being called to the Southwest Airlines ticket counter at the San Deigo airport this week:
In what appeared to be a prank pulled by an airline passenger opposed to restrictive vaccine mandates, the Southwest Airlines ticket counter at the San Diego Airport called a person named "Noman Dates" (No Mandates) to the counter over the airport gate intercom. Opposition to Southwest Airlines' vaccine mandates has sparked rumors of a pilots' strike, though corporate media has rushed to "debunk" such claims.
"Attention at the terminal, Noman Dates. Noman Dates. Please get your party, Southwest ticket counter. Noman Dates. Please get your party, Southwest ticket counter," the intercom blares in the video, as passengers line up at the gate.
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