United Airlines Must Accommodate Religious Exemptions

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ORLANDO, FL – Liberty Counsel has sent a demand letter to United Airlines and behalf of scores of airline employees with religious exemptions who have been told they must get the COVID shots in order to keep their jobs. These employees are facing illegal resistance from both the airlines and lack of support from the unions. Many of these employees have engaged Liberty Counsel to bring legal action if United Airlines denies their religious exemption requests.

United Airlines became the first major U.S. carrier to mandate the shots for its approximately 67,000 employees, who must be fully vaccinated by September 27 or face termination. However, instead of legally accommodating their religious exemptions, the airline company is using administrative obstacles such as asking personal and theological questions that are unlawful.

For example, United Airlines is illegally telling 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. In fact, Liberty Counsel is not aware of any approval of religious exemptions so far. Therefore, the company seems to be running down the clock to the deadline which is escalating the stress of United’s employees each day. This undue stress is a serious distraction, and distractions cause mistakes, and mistakes increase the risk of safety incidents affecting both employees and passengers.

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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.

The VAERS data shows 623,341 adverse events, including 13,627 deaths as of August 20, 2021 from the COVID injections. Ironically, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued guidance last February which identifies certain limitations for the holders of FAA airmen medical certificates or medical clearances who receive either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. The Office of Aerospace Medicine (AAM) has stated that those individuals receiving either Pfizer or Moderna must be placed on a 48-hour “no fly/no safety-related duty” hold upon receiving each dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. The AAM will monitor patient responses to each dose and may adjust the FAA’s policy as necessary to ensure aviation safety.

When boarding an Alaska Air flight, passengers at the boarding gate see a pop-up sign that says:IT’S SAFETO FLY—ANDEXPERTS AGREE.Travelers wearing a mask have a .003% orNEAR-ZERO CHANCEof being exposed to the virus,even on a full aircraftaccording to a recent Department of Defense studyAir travel is the safest mode ofTransportation thanks to. . .HOSPITAL-GRADE AIR FILTRATIONCLEAN AIR EXCHANGETOP-DOWN AIR FLOW  The Department of Defense study was done in conjunction with United Airlines. It is hypocritical for United Airlines to now demand their employees to get the shots when the company was part of the study that concluded the risk of exposure was .003%, or NEAR-ZERO CHANCE. Regarding the Clean Air Exchange, the Alaska Air sign states this is “According to researchers at Harvard.” 

The accommodation these employees are requesting is an exemption from the COVID-19 shots. Past history is prologue in this respect, as (1) United has been providing such accommodation ever since the first COVID-19 shot was available to the public in December 2020, (2) all phases of the airline and employment sectors have been working through the pandemic up to the present, even during the peak of COVID-19 without the shots; (3) the Delta variant has been in the United States for months and employees continued to work through the present without the COVID-19 shots; (4) United has implemented measures to protect the health and safety of its employees and passengers by requiring PPE and upgrading air filtration systems without mandating the COVID-19 shots (even participating in the above-cited Department of Defense study); (5) nothing has changed except the recent mandate; and (6) therefore, months of history during COVID-19, with the Delta variant, during which COVID-19 shots were available, combined with the health and safety measures such as PPE, social distancing, sanitization, and upgraded air filtration, are reasonable accommodations that permitted the company and its employees to operate. The accommodation request is to continue to permit United Airline employees to work in the same manner without diminution as they have done for many months.

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Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “United Airlines must accommodate religious exemptions for its employees. The past history is prologue that clearly shows United employees can safely work without the COVID shots. United 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. If the airlines claim, based on the Department of Defense study, that wearing a mask reduces the chance of exposure to the virus to .003%, or near zero, then why force these faithful employees to inject an experimental substance into their bodies? No one should be forced to inject this or any substance in their bodies against their will. It is wrong to violate the fundamental right to free and informed consent and bully people into compliance.”

SOURCE Liberty Counsel