On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbot signed an executive order that bans vaccine mandates in the state. However, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines announced that they wouldn’t follow the Texas ban. Both American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are federal contractors and are bound to comply with the new federal requirement.
Texas Ban on Vaccine Mandates
Governor Abbot accused the Biden administration of overreach by mandating vaccines. According to Abbot, vaccination should be voluntary. Currently, Texas is among the states with the lowest vaccination rate at around 50%.
The Greater Houston Partnership comprising of around 900 companies including JPMorgan Chase & Co, Chevron Corp, and Accenture said that Abbot’s executive order will only complicate their efforts to run their business safely. The group has been supportive of the Biden administration’s move to require vaccination for companies that have more than 100 employees.
Labor-law expert at Fisher Phillips Todd Logsdon said that businesses “want to minimize uncertainty, and certainly, this isn’t helping”.
The White House issued a statement on Abbot’s ban saying Abbot’s move is protecting the interest of his own politics.
Below the 70% Target Population
187.7 million people in the US already completed their COVID 19 vaccine doses. That’s equivalent to 57% of the United States’ population. However, that’s still below the 70% target by health experts.
American, Southwest, JetBlue, and Alaska Airlines are already required employees to get the vaccine. United, on the other hand, announced their vaccine mandate earlier than other airlines. United was told by a federal judge in Texas to hold off its plan to put its unvaccinated employees on unpaid leave.