The American Airlines and Southwest airlines employee vaccine mandates are suddenly illegal. The rulings by the courts have left many with questions about how to handle these mandates with their employees, as well as what the implications are for other employers.
The southwest airlines is a company that has had to change their policy for employees. It was found that the policies were illegal and now they are not allowed to be enforced.
Are Vaccine Requirements for American Airlines and Southwest Employees Now Illegal?
on October 12, 2021 by Gary Leff
Is it lawful for American Airlines and Southwest Airlines to require its employees to be vaccinated? Is the United Airlines vaccination requirement, at least for Houston-based workers, legal? Texas is home to American and Southwest Airlines, as well as a United hub.
On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an Executive Order prohibiting vaccine mandates in the state, including by private employers, who must allow exemptions for anyone who objects on the basis of “personal conscience, religious belief, or medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19.”
Is it true that the Texas Disaster Act of 1975 gives the governor this authority?
Under the same power, the Governor of Texas has prohibited school mask requirements. The question of whether the legislation extends far enough to enable him to prohibit disaster responses is presently being litigated. At first glance, it seems to be a stretch, since the power to guide the state’s Covid reaction does not appear to include the ability to restrict that response. If you envision a variety of potential answers, and maybe even a budget for them, the Governor has the authority to pick among them – and to demand that others not make alternative choices that might jeopardize his disaster response objectives (such as they are).
What makes you think a Texas governor’s Executive Order may override federal law? It can’t, of course. Except that there is now no federal legislation or regulation requiring employers to provide vaccines to their employees.
- Companies with 100 or more workers will be required to demand vaccination or regular Covid-19 testing, according to the President. This emergency rule has not been issued by OSHA.
- As government contractors, airlines have stated that they would be obliged to enforce vaccination requirements (without a testing option). However, this isn’t entirely apparent. The White House demanded that airlines take the lead in immunization efforts, threatening to make such a requirement a condition of future federal contracts.
According to Reuters, Biden’s administration informed airlines on Thursday that it would seek a revision of [Civil Reserve Air Fleet] contracts to compel airline workers to get vaccinated. Other government agencies are likely to request changes to airline contracts as well.
A federal mandate for government contractors’ workers to get vaccinated is most likely lawful. An OSHA emergency rule requiring large-company workers to be vaccinated or tested on a regular basis is more dubious, but the Governor’s Executive Order is even more dubious. All of this just adds to the confusion for Texas businesses: whose possibly unlawful instructions are we expected to follow?
Texas Governor Rick Perry has urged the state legislature to enact a law prohibiting vaccination mandates. That indicates to me that he considers his legal authority in this situation to be dubious at best. He’ll be competing for re-election next year, and he’ll be up against a primary challenger. The legislature, on the other hand, has already convened for longer than usual and would usually be adjourned… until 2023.
More From the Wing’s Perspective
On December 21, 2018, the american airlines pilot strike occurred. This was a result of American Airlines and Southwest employees not wanting to comply with the new federal mandates for vaccinations.
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