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Boeing stops vaccination mandate for US employees



(Reuters) – Boeing Co. suspended its demand for coronavirus vaccination for U.S.-based employees, the U.S. aircraft maker said on Friday, and covered weeks of uncertainty as thousands of workers sought exemptions and challenged a federal mandate in court.

In an internal statement, Boeing said that The decision came after a review of a U.S. district court ruling earlier this month that halted the enforcement of President Joe Biden's vaccine requirements for federal contractors.

Some large healthcare chains and companies such as as General Electric, Spirit AeroSystems and Amtrak have also suspended workers' vaccine mandates.

In recent weeks, the number of Boeing employees seeking vaccination exemption on religious or medical grounds had reached more than 1

1,000 – or almost 9% of the company's United States 's workforce – a level many times higher than what managers initially estimated, Reuters first reported.

The fact that the vast majority of applications were for religious reasons threw one of the United States' largest employers at the center of a debate on the ethics of examining an employee's religious beliefs.

It also made managers look for a strategy that keeps employees safe, but avoids an exodus of engineering and factory work.

Boeing's vaccination requirements have resulted in more than 92% of U.S.-based workers being registered as fully vaccinated, or receiving religious or medical residency, according to Friday's memo.

"The success of Boeing's vaccination requirements. so far positioned the company well to comply with the federal executive order if it were to be reintroduced in the future, "it added.

A Boeing spokesman confirmed the decision, adding that the company was" committed to maintaining a safe working environment for our employees and promoting health and the security of our global workforce. "

Boeing lifted its vaccination requirement in line with the court's decision banning the execution of the federal contractor's executive order and several state laws, the spokesman added.

Last month, the White House moved back to January 4 its deadline for employees of federal contractors to be vaccinated or tested regularly if they are granted an exemption.


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