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Hawaiian Airlines Will Finally Let Unvaccinated Employees Return to Work From October 1

Hawaiian Airlines Will Finally Let Unvaccinated Employees Return to Work From October 1

Hawaiian Airlines is to finally drop its controversial employee vaccine mandate from October 1 and allow unvaccinated workers to return to work for the first time since February 2022.

The airline says the mandate helped it achieve an employee COVID-19 vaccine rate of 96 percent but around 200 workers who opted to take an indefinite period of unpaid leave rather than get the vaccine will now be allowed back to work.

Hawaiian Airlines is also expected to invite nearly 100 ex-employees who quit their jobs in protest at the mandate to apply for their old jobs back.

In an internal message, chief executive Peter Ingram admitted that the mandate had been an “emotional and divisive issue” but insisted that vaccines remain “highly effective at preventing severe illness”

Despite lifting the mandate, Ingram continues to encourage vaccine refusniks to get the shot and is hoping eligible employees get their booster jabs as well.

Hawaiian Airlines first announced it was introducing a vaccine mandate in August 2021, just a week after United Airlines became the first carrier in the United States to announce a similar mandate.

A small group of employees attempted to challenge Hawaiian’s mandate in federal court, accusing the airline of religious discrimination. A judge threw out the case in February after concluding that loss of employment as a result of a vaccine mandate did not constitute “irreparable harm”.

United Airlines lifted its vaccine mandate in March, but the airline said the mandate had helped save lives at the height of the Omicron surge when 3,000 employees were off sick with COVID-19, but zero had been hospitalized.

View Comments (3)
  • This whole experimental vaccine mandate is ridiculous. I take exception with Companies mandating medical treatments for employees. I also take exception with the term refusenik. This is a medical issue to be discussed between patients and doctors.

    • Agree! We went from “It stops you from getting covid!” to “Well it stops you from transmitting covid!” (Here’s where they falsely vilified people with the “Pandemic of the Unvaccinated”lie. And we ended up at, “It prevents neither acquisition nor transmission, but it prevents “severe illness.” They trotted out this last claim conveniently when the weakest strains were circulating.

      I hope these employees sue the airline. Yes, there was a failed suit early in the game, but there’s a lot of new facts available, and some companies went beyond the basic requirements of the law by holding onto mandates longer than was legally necessary.

  • The war has been lost. The Hitler side has won. America is acting like Hitler.

    The majority of Americans are not up to date with vaccinations. About one-third are.
    Americans are generally not wearing masks.

    We’re acting like there is no pandemic. So stupid.

    In contrast, more than 80% of people in Japan and Taiwan are up to date with vaccinations include boosters. The death rate is lower. The long Covid rate is lower. The number of cases is lower.

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