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

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of Seattle.
West Seattle Bridge to reopen after yearslong closure

The bridge will open Sunday, Sept. 18., providing weary West Seattle travelers with a beacon of hope.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of Seattle.
Seattle hospital to refuse some patients due to capacity

Harborview Medical Center in Seattle will temporarily stop accepting less acute patients.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Red Flag Warning issued for eastern Snohomish County

The warning issued by the National Weather Service is in effect from 2 a.m. to 11 p.m.

X
Washington ferries to get $38 million to improve services

The money from the Federal Highway Administration will be used to improve the ferry service.

FILE - The Boeing 787 Dreamliner after its landing at Le Bourget airport, east of Paris, upon its presentation for the first time at the 49th Paris Air Show at the airport, Tuesday June 21, 2011. Federal regulators said Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, that they are satisfied with changes Boeing has made in the production of its 787 Dreamliner passenger jet, clearing the way for the company to resume deliveries to airline customers “in the coming days.” (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)
FAA clears Boeing to resume deliveries of 787 Dreamliner

Federal regulators said they are satisfied with changes Boeing has made in the plane’s production.

RETRANSMISSION TO CORRECT STATE - This photo provided by the Washington State Department of Transportation shows smoke from a wildfire burning south of Lind, Wash. on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. Sheriff's officials are telling residents in the town of Lind in eastern Washington to evacuate because of a growing wildfire south of town that was burning homes. (Washington State Department of Transportation via AP)
Washington town told to leave due to wildfire, 10 homes lost

An entire eastern Washington town was being evacuated Thursday because of a growing wildfire.

An EA-18G Growler taxis down the airstrip on Naval Air Station Whidbey Island during the squadron’s welcome home ceremony in August 2017. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Wood/U.S. Navy)
Judge rejects Navy environmental review of Whidbey Island Growler jet expansion

A judge ruled the Navy violated federal law in an environmental study of expanded Whidbey Island jet operations.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of Seattle.
Seattle ends COVID hazard pay for grocery store workers

The now repealed policy had required grocery stores to pay employees an additional $4 per hour.

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
Washington judge overturns insurance rate credit scoring ban

The state rule prohibited insurers from using credit scoring to set rates for auto, homeowner and renter insurance.

A damaged Cathlamet ferry sits at the Fauntleroy dock in West Seattle, Thursday morning, July 28, 2022. Authorities say an automobile and passenger ferry crashed into a dock Thursday in Seattle, damaging the vessel. (Erika Schultz/The Seattle Times via AP)
Ferry in Seattle damaged after crash into terminal

Authorities say an automobile and passenger ferry crashed into a dock Thursday.

King County map logo
King County OKs free transit for youth

People age 18 and under will ride buses, water taxis and streetcars for free in King County starting Sept. 1.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., speaks at an event with President Joe Biden on April 22, 2022, in Auburn, Wash., south of Seattle. Murray is being challenged by Tiffany Smiley, a Republican from Pasco, Wash., in the upcoming election. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Patty Murray seeks 6th term in US Senate at new inflection point for women

Her Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley, a former nurse from Pasco, contends it is time for a new senator.