People hold signs in protest of the vaccine mandate last month in Everett, after Boeing announced it would terminate workers who do not comply. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

People hold signs in protest of the vaccine mandate last month in Everett, after Boeing announced it would terminate workers who do not comply. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

Boeing drops vaccine mandate for U.S. employees

About 10,000 unvaccinated workers had been under the threat of possible termination.

By Dominic Gates / The Seattle Times

Boeing on Friday announced internally that it’s suspending the vaccination requirement for all U.S.-based employees.

The company adopted a vaccine mandate in October to ensure compliance with the federal executive order that required all employees of federal contractors to be vaccinated.

The mandate faced considerable opposition from a vocal minority of Boeing workers, some of whom insisted they would lose their jobs rather than comply.

In an internal company announcement, Boeing told employees its decision to suspend the mandate “comes after a detailed review of a U.S. District Court ruling earlier this month that halts the enforcement of a federal executive order requiring vaccinations for federal contractors, a recent Executive Branch directive not to enforce the order on those contractors and a number of state laws which limit an employer’s ability to impose mandatory vaccine requirements.”

The statement said that currently “over 92% of the company’s U.S.-based workforce having registered as being fully vaccinated or having received a religious or medical accommodation.”

That implies 8%, or about 10,000 U.S. employees, were under threat of possible termination under the mandate.

Dr. Laura Cain, Boeing chief medical officer, told employees she still wants “to strongly encourage our employees to get vaccinated or get a booster if they have not done so to help protect their teammates, families and communities.”

“According to the CDC, the vaccines are safe, effective and our best tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” she said.

A broad federal vaccine mandate for workers at firms with more than 100 employees was scheduled to go into effect Jan. 4, but has been suspended pending court challenges.

Boeing said it will provide information on the additional requirements that may be necessary for unvaccinated employees in early 2022.

Talk to us

More in Northwest

FILE - Trees scorched by the Caldor Fire smolder in the Eldorado National Forest, Calif., Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. The Biden administration wants to thin more forests and use prescribed burns to reduce catastrophic wildfires as climate changes makes blazes more intense. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
US plans $50B wildfire fight where forests meet suburbia

Blazes have wiped out communities in California, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon and Washington state.

Skiers make their way uphill under idle lift chairs at the Summit at Snoqualmie Ski Area as fresh snow falls, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, in Snoqualmie Pass, Wash. Several inches of snow fell Wednesday, and the area shown was scheduled to open to skiers and begin lift operation later in the day. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Snoqualmie ski resort cuts some operations after losing power

For Monday skiing, the resort’s website said they have “less than a partial supply of energy.”

FILE - In this April 15, 2019, file photo, a vendor makes change for a marijuana customer at a cannabis marketplace in Los Angeles. An unwelcome trend is emerging in California, as the nation's most populous state enters its fifth year of broad legal marijuana sales. Industry experts say a growing number of license holders are secretly operating in the illegal market — working both sides of the economy to make ends meet. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
In California pot market, a hazy line between legal and not

Industry insiders say the practice of working simultaneously in the legal and illicit markets is a financial reality.

FILE - The Supreme Court is seen at dusk in Washington on Oct. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Supreme Court to hear case of praying ex-football coach

The former Seattle-area coach was removed from his job because he wouldn’t stop praying on the field.

Joe Kent, candidate for U.S. Representative in Washington's 3rd Congressional District, leads a "Rally Against Forced Quarantine" outside a meeting of the Washington State Board of Health in Tumwater on Wednesday. (Joe Kent For Congress / Facebook)
No, Washington state isn’t forcing people into quarantine camps

The state’s health board debunked rumors from social media users, politicians and conservative pundits.

FILE - Bill Gates speaks during the Global Investment Summit at the Science Museum, London, Tuesday, Oct, 19, 2021. A small city in the top U.S. coal-mining state of Wyoming will be home to a Bill Gates-backed experimental nuclear power project near a coal-fired power plant that will soon close, officials announced Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. (Leon Neal/Pool Photo via AP, File)
Microsoft to review workplace harassment, including Bill Gates allegations

One engineer wrote in a letter that she had a sexual relationship with Gates over several years.

Dog rescued from collapsed house 6 days after landslide

The black Labrador named Sammy was alert and wagging her tail as Seattle firefighters pulled her from the rubble.

U.S. 2 at Stevens Pass reopened to traffic Thursday morning. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
Finally, U.S. 2 at Stevens Pass reopens for travel

Heavy snow and avalanche risks closed the pass Jan. 6. Snoqualmie, Blewett and White passes were also open.

During a news conference Thursday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee explains the deployment of the National Guard to hospitals to assist with the coronavirus surge. (TVW) 20220113
Surgeries paused, National Guard deployed to assist hospitals

Guard troops will help Providence in Everett, among other places, deal with a surge in virus patients and staffing shortages.

The Washington state Senate is seen on the first day of the 60-day legislative session on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022 in Olympia, Wash. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a limited number of lawmakers are allowed on the chamber floor, with much of the chamber's work being done in a hybrid remote fashion. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)
State senate OKs bigger penalty for election worker harassment

Violations potentially could result in a five-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine.

Brock Hoenes
Washington state wildlife manager accused of poaching

He allegedly illegally killed an animal in Ferry County, then reported the incident, calling it a “mistake.”

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee gives his annual State of the State address, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Due to cautions against COVID-19, Inslee gave his speech in the State Reception Room and it was shown by streaming video to lawmakers meeting remotely. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Gov. Inslee calls on lawmakers for ‘big’ and ‘bold’ action

The governor focused on the pandemic’s impact on kids, the climate, and homelessness.