United Airlines makes COVID-19 shots compulsory for U.S. employees
(Reuters) – United Airlines Inc on Friday became the latest company to require all its U.S.-based employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The airline said employees would need to show proof of vaccination, five weeks after the U.S. drug regulator fully approved any of Pfizer Inc, Moderna Inc or Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine or by October 25, whichever was earlier.
A resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the United States due to the more infectious Delta variant has forced the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reimpose some mask mandates and some companies to require vaccinations at workplaces.
Employees who get vaccinated before September 20 and those that have already received their shots will get an additional day of pay, United Chief Executive Officer Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart said in a letter to employees.
The executives said they are aware some employees will disagree, but added that the mandate was issued to make the workplace safer.
U.S. airlines are rebounding from a brutal 2020, when a slowdown in travel due to the pandemic forced them to cut flights, furlough employees and borrow government money to cover wages.
Reporting by Abhijith Ganapavaram in Bengaluru and Tracy Rucinski in Chicago; Editing by Shailesh Kuber