- Southwest Airlines will require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 24th.
- The 54,000-person company complies with Biden’s federal vaccine mandate.
- Following this news, Delta is the last major U.S. airline not to have a vaccination mandate, according to Forbes.
Southwest Airlines will require its employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 24, according to Reuters.
Southwest said employees should be fully vaccinated “to continue employment,” according to the Dallas Morning News, following pressure from the federal government.
“Southwest Airlines must join our industry peers to comply with the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccination directive,” Gary Kelly, Southwest’s CEO, told the Dallas Morning News. “I urge all employees of the Southwest to comply with the federal directive as soon as possible, as we value each and every one and want to ensure job security for all.”
Southwest requires, in accordance with federal guidelines, that all employees report vaccination status by December 8, the company said. Those with a disability, a medical condition or a religious belief that prohibits them from getting the vaccine can request accommodation through the company, according to Reuters.
Following Biden’s federal vaccination mandate for companies larger than 100 people, several airlines began rolling out their own vaccine mandates throughout the company, Insiders Madison Hall reported. Southwest currently has more than 54,000 employees, according to the company.
United Airlines was the first airline to take action and in fact fired anyone who did not comply with its vaccination mandate. Although it originally planned to fire 600 workers, in fact only 320 were laid off, accounting for less than half a percent of United’s 67,000 employees.
As of Sunday, all major airlines – including US, Alaska, JetBlue, United, Hawaiian, Frontier – except Southwest and Delta had implemented vaccine mandates, Forbes reported. According to today’s news, Delta stands alone.