Airline Employees Placed at Risk from Shot Mandates

Aug 26, 2021

ORLANDO, FL – Liberty Counsel has been assisting thousands of airline employees with religious exemptions who have been told they must get the COVID injection in order to keep their jobs. These employees are facing illegal resistance from the airlines, and lack of support from the unions. They are being placed under extreme stress. 

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 October 25 or face termination. Staff who upload vaccination proof by Sept. 20 will receive a full day’s pay. Frontier Airlines requires that employees must be vaccinated by October 1. Hawaiian Airlines has also told employees that they must be fully vaccinated by November 1. Delta just announced a shot mandate. 

However, neither the airlines nor the unions 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 ninety (90) days, the pilot can file for long-term disability.

The VAERS data shows 595,620 adverse events, including 13,608 deaths as of August 13, 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 SAFE

TO FLY—AND

EXPERTS AGREE.

Travelers wearing a mask have a .003% or

NEAR-ZERO CHANCE

of being exposed to the virus,

even on a full aircraft

according to a recent Department of Defense study

Air travel is the safest mode of

Transportation thanks to. . .

HOSPITAL-GRADE AIR FILTRATION

CLEAN AIR EXCHANGE

TOP-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.” 

United Airlines is illegally telling its employees that to obtain a religious exemption they have to 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. The only issue is whether the employee has a sincere religious belief, not whether a clergy or a “recognized religion” (whatever that is) agrees. 

Title VII defines the protected category of religion to include “all aspects of religious observance and practice, as well as belief.” 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(j). Moreover, as the EEOC has made clear, Title VII’s protections also extend nonreligious beliefs if related to morality, ultimate ideas about life, purpose, and death. See EEOC, Questions and Answers: Religious Discrimination in the Workplace (June 7, 2008), (“Title VII’s protections also extend to those who are discriminated against or need accommodation because they profess no religious beliefs…Religious beliefs include theistic beliefs, i.e. those that include a belief in God as well as non-theistic ‘moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong which are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views.’ Although courts generally resolve doubts about particular beliefs in favor of finding that they are religious, beliefs are not protected merely because they are strongly held. Rather, religion typically concerns ‘ultimate ideas’ about ‘life, purpose, and death’”). 

The U.S. Supreme Court has been very clear on this point: 

“Intrafaith differences of that kind are not uncommon among followers of a particular creed, and the judicial process is singularly ill equipped to resolve such differences . . . and the guarantee of free exercise is not limited to beliefs which are shared by all of the members of a religious sect. Particularly in this sensitive area, it is not within the judicial function and judicial competence to inquire whether the petitioner or his fellow worker more correctly perceived the commands of their common faith. Courts are not arbiters of scriptural interpretation.” (Thomas v. Rev. Bd. of Ind. Emp. Sec. Div., 450 U.S. 707, 715-716 (1981) (emphasis added). 

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “The airlines are jeopardizing the health and safety of their employees and passengers by pressuring them to get the COVID shots or be terminated. This is a national emergency that places crew and passengers at risk. 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 not 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.” 

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