Southwest Drops Plan to Get Rid of Unvaccinated Staff by December Deadline

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Southwest Airlines dropped a plan to put unvaccinated workers with pending exemptions on unpaid leave after a December 8 deadline following protests by their employees.

“The employee will continue to work, while following all COVID mask and distancing guidelines applicable to their position, until the accommodation has been processed,” according to an internal note obtained by CNBC written by Southwest’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Hospitality Steve Goldberg and Vice President and Chief People Officer Julie Weber.

Last week, Southwest Airlines canceled hundreds of flights in what reportedly was an employee “sick out,” although the company blamed the weather for the cancelations. Following that, Southwest Airlines employees were captured on video protesting the vaccination requirement outside of the airlines’ Texas headquarters.