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Texas Companies Are Stuck Between Mandates. What Now?

Texas-based American Airlines Group Inc., the biggest U.S. airline, and Southwest Airlines Co., the fourth largest, aren’t waiting for OSHA to issue rules. Both companies said Oct. 12 they will follow Biden’s mandate, defying Abbott’s order and braving a $1,000 state fine. American, which had 117,400 workers nationwide at the end of June, and Southwest, which had about 54,500, both have federal contracts to transport employees and goods. Many other large Texas-based companies, including AT&T Inc., are rolling out company-wide Covid vaccine requirements, and health systems such as Houston Methodist have had them in place for some time. Some large oil and gas companies with operations in Texas, such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc, said they were still evaluating Abbott’s ban, and others, including Valero Energy Corp., declined to comment.

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