By now, I would imagine all of you are aware of Executive Order 14042, which requires employees of federal contractors to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. What we also know is the order also allows for each worker to request a deeply held religious exemption or ADA medical accommodation. What we do not know is how each employer will handle the religious exemption or medical accommodation for those members who are unable to receive the vaccination for these two reasons. Unfortunately, we cannot determine if there is a contractual or legal breach until each employer announces how they will handle both of these areas of accommodation. At this time, this is the only accurate and fact-based information that has been made public.
While some employers may provide additional options, such as leaves of absence, other employers might not. Some key dates that I am aware of, where we may get more information from either court filings or government guidance, are today and October 15. When more fact-based answers become available – from government, legal, or the employers, either TWU International or your Local will provide that information to those members who are not yet vaccinated. We are engaged, as are our Local leaders, in protecting each member’s contractual rights. Instead of having our legal team spending time creating a copy and paste letter that will have zero meaningful effect, our legal team is focused on making sure each employer follows the law. We have been contacted by some Locals and we will provide them guidance on their questions, as facts and answers become available. Our obligation remains to work with each Local representing their particular contract(s), so that none of our nearly 65,000 Air Division member’s rights are violated.