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Vax Lawsuit: United Airlines Demands Employees’ Private Communications with Pastors and Priests to Prove Religious Exemption

United Airlines demands employees who are suing for firing them over their religious objections to the company’s coronavirus vaccine mandate must turn over their private communications with pastors or religious advisors related to the vaccine, court filings show.

The airline’s attorneys made the demand in the discovery phase of a lawsuit filed in September of 2021, in which eight United Airlines employees forced onto unpaid leave sued on behalf of 2,000-plus workers seeking exemptions from the company’s coronavirus vaccine mandate. The lawsuit alleges the company violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by discriminating against the employees based on their religious beliefs and medical conditions.

United Airlines notably had one of the strictest COVID vaccine mandates in the country for a private company, even compared to competing airlines. In August of 2021, the airline told its 67,000 U.S. employees that they would have to get vaccinated against the virus or face firing. United reported at the time that roughly 96 percent complied with the mandate, though several hundred who refused were ...