United Airlines announced that unvaccinated employees who previously received a vaccine exemption will be able to return to their jobs in late-March.
A memo sent to United Airlines employees on Thursday morning states that employees who received a medical or religious exemption and put on unpaid leave can return to their positions on March 28.
The company fired around 200 people in October for failing to comply with its vaccine mandate for employees. Those fired did not seek an exemption, according to a United Airlines spokesperson.
Kirk Limacher, vice president of human resources for United Airlines wrote in the memo that coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are expected to decline.
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“We expect COVID case counts, hospitalizations and deaths to continue to decline nationally over the next few weeks and, accordingly, we plan to welcome back those employees who have been out on an approved [reasonable accommodation] to their normal positions starting on Monday, March 28, “the memo sent on Thursday read.
Limacher said in the memo that the company will “reevaluate” safety protocalls if another coronavirus variant emerges.
“Of course, if another variant emerges or the COVID trends suddenly reverse course, we will reevaluate the appropriate safety protocols at that time,” Limacher wrote.
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The announcement comes after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in February that a Texas federal judge must re-consider an injunction sought by a group of United Airlines employees against the vaccine mandate. The judge initially upheld the mandate, according to CNBC.
United Airlines filed a motion to dismiss the appeal due to the new policy it has implemented regarding unvaccinated employees returning to work, according to the report.
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“In light of these changed circumstances, plaintiffs’ preliminary-injunction motion is moot, and this Court should vacate the panel opinion and dismiss the appeal,” United Airlines said in a court filing.