Judge Denies Challenge To Southwest Airlines Vax Mandate
A federal judge shot down a bid that was made by pilots who work for Southwest Airlines from being able to block a vaccine mandate put forward by the airline company, stating they are within their power to require vaccination as a safety measure.
United States District Judge Barbara Lynn rejected the request by the airline pilot union to issue a temporary restraining order against the airline’s requirement that all employees receive the jab.
The judge stated on Tuesday that Southwest Airlines is completely within its own authority to require workers to be vaccinated in order to improve safety and maintain its operations.
Southwest Airlines asked its employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to comply with a Biden administration requirement for federal contractors including airlines that have contracts with the government.
In recent days, the airline has weakened the requirement by saying workers who fail to comply won’t be fired. Southwest has openly encouraged employees to ask for a medical or religious exemption from being vaccinated if they object to getting the shots.
Dallas-based Southwest is giving employees until Nov. 24 to provide proof of vaccination or request an exemption.