Cannot merge MR when pipeline has no jobs

I’m using GitLab.com and I have a project with a pipeline that only has jobs when the source code directory changes. In other words, updating the README causes all jobs in the pipeline to be skipped. So when someone creates a new branch, updates the README, and creates a MR, the Merge button is disabled and the MR is perpetually “Checking pipeline status.”

I found this issue that seems related, reported by @cynthia a year ago.

https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-foss/-/issues/59195

I can manually merge as a workaround, but has anyone else encountered this?