Southwest Airlines will allow unvaccinated employees to keep working past early December and workers will not be put on unpaid leaves if they apply for an exemption on medical or religious grounds.

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Federal mandate on vaccination deadline is 8th December 2021 and U.S. airlines staff must get vaccination shots by then. Southwest airline has announced that employees must submit the vaccination proof or file an exemption request by 24th November. The company has reverted from its decision that employees who who di not get vaccination or received an exemption will go on unpaid leaves.

U.S. employers are facing the challenge of retaining workers and ‘workers quitting’ is on a rise for few months. In view of the situation, the airline carrier has tried to reassure employees about job security under the mandate and urged them to apply for exemptions. The workers can apply exemption on medical or religious basis. Southwest spokesperson told: “While Southwest encourages every Employee to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, the airline does not intend to lose any Employee over the vaccination mandate.”

Other Airlines Response to Vaccination Mandate

Other airlines also maintained that unvaccinated staff or who do not have an exemption from vaccination could lose their jobs. American Airlines told its staff must get the vaccination shots before deadline. The employees will not be able to work with American Airlines who will not get vaccination till deadline. Southwest and American are both based in Texas. The Republican governor has ordered businesses not to require employees or customers to be vaccinated. They will comply with President Joe Biden’s federal mandate that contractors require vaccination. They believe Federal mandate has legal priority over state orders.

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