Southwest drops plan to put unvaccinated staff on unpaid leave

Initially, we communicated that these Employees would be put on unpaid leave and that is no longer the case,” they wrote in the note, which was reviewed by CNBC.

United Airlines implemented its own vaccine mandate in August, a month before the government rules were announced. United had told staff that they would be put on unpaid leave if they received exemptions. More than 96% of its staff is vaccinated. Some employees sued the company over the unpaid leave, and a federal judge in Fort Worth, Texas, has temporarily blocked the airline from going forward with its plan.

American Airlines management “indicated that, unlike the approach taken by United, they were exploring accommodations that would allow employees to continue to work,” the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the union that represents American’s mainline cabin crews, said in a note to members Monday. 

CNBC Southwest drops plan to put unvaccinated staff on unpaid leave