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American Airlines (AAL) to End Unvaccinated Staff Special Leaves

American Airlines (AAL) is set to scrap its special leave policy for unvaccinated employees who contract COVID-19, while retaining the same for the fu...

This story originally appeared on Zacks

American Airlines Group AAL will do away with special leaves for unvaccinated employees who contract COVID-19 and need to quarantine, starting next month.

While the special leave policy will still be available to fully vaccinated employees who fall sick with the virus, unvaccinated staff will have to use their sick time or medical leave for absence from work on the same ground.


In a memo to its staff, which was seen by Reuters, the carrier said, "Given there is an FDA-approved vaccine, pandemic leave will only be offered to team members who are fully vaccinated and who provide their vaccination card to us."

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Amid rising coronavirus cases, several airline companies are adopting measures to push their employees to get inoculated, so that operations can be protected as much as possible. American Airlines’ scrapping of special leaves for unvaccinated employees coincided with Alaska Air Group’s ALK cessation of special COVID pay for unvaccinated employees who miss work due to the disease. The airline also requires all new hires to be vaccinated and is rewarding employees who provide proof of vaccination with a $200 payment. United Airlines UAL has also imposed vaccine mandates on all its domestic employees.

In a different approach to get employees vaccinated, last month, Delta Air Lines DAL announced that effective Nov 1, it will add a monthly surcharge of $200 on healthcare plans of unvaccinated employees. Additionally, effective Sep 30, the carrier will be providing COVID pay protection only to fully vaccinated employees who suffer from breakthrough infections.

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