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Unreasonable? Professor Doron Dorfman Comments to Yahoo! About United Airlines' Vaccine Mandate

Posted on Monday 10/4/2021
Doron Dorfman

COVID vaccine mandates: The key question challenging United Airlines’ policy

United Airlines (UAL) began firing some unvaccinated U.S.-based workers on Tuesday. However, the airline agreed to postpone plans to put another group of unvaccinated workers on mostly unpaid leave after they'd applied for medical or religious exemptions to its mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.

Six of those exempted workers are challenging United's policy in a federal lawsuit in Texas, which employment lawyers say is likely to turn on the nature of the alternatives that United offered to employees who sought exemptions ...

... Those questions include whether under the ADA or Title VII the accommodations would impose an "undue hardship" on United, and whether whether the accommodations are considered reasonable. 

Syracuse University law school professor Doron Dorfman told Yahoo Finance that the indefinite nature of United's offer to keep exempt workers on leave could pose a challenge for its "reasonableness" defense.

"If I were to advise United, I would just do it year by year, or for six months," Dorfman said, explaining that a judge might find longer terms unreasonable. 

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