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Office Notice

Due to inclement weather conditions, the Raleigh office will be closed today, Jan. 21, 2022.

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February 15, 2022

FinTech and Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs)

Continuing the FinTech University series, join chair of Nelson Mullins FinTech and Regulation Practice and moderator, Richard Levin, and attorneys Jon Talcott, Andy Tucker, and Peter Strand for this one-hour session, "FinTech and SPACs." Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit will be sought for all attorneys requesting. Certificates of attendance are available upon request for CPE purposes. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit.

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Additional Nelson Mullins Alerts

Dec. 16, 2021

5th Circuit Rejects Request from United Airlines Employees to Block Company’s COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

By Bret A. Cohen, Mitch Boyarsky, Benjamin Lichtman

In a decision from the New Orleans-based Fifth Circuit, in a bid to block the company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, a divided court rejected an emergency request for an injunction from United Airlines employees. The request came in the wake of a November ruling by a federal judge in Fort Worth, Texas, which also ruled in favor of United Airlines.

United Airlines was the first major air carrier to implement a vaccine mandate and has so far granted about 2,000 exemptions. Its policy would place on unpaid leave any employees who fail to get the COVID-19 vaccine (and who fail to qualify for an exemption). The key question in this case is the extent to which United Airlines has accommodated employees’ religious or medical exemptions. The six plaintiffs claim that United Airlines’ policy is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which, among other things, requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for all aspects of an employee’s religious beliefs, absent “undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business.”

While the Fifth Circuit did not rule on the merits, two of the three judges denied the motion for an injunction citing previous decisions but did not offer any additional reasoning. Judge James C. Ho dissented asserting that the mandate placed a substantial burden on one’s religion and calling the harm a “quintessentially irreparable injury, warranting preliminary injunctive relief.” The Fifth Circuit did, however, grant a request from the plaintiffs for an expedited appeal. That hearing and the court’s decision should provide some of guidance on the legal constraints and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccine mandates.