DOL Finds American Airlines Retaliated Against Sick Pilot

The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered American Airlines Inc. to reimburse a pilot who was retaliated against for reporting that he was too sick to fly. American Airlines rejected medical documentation that the pilot provided in accordance with American's internal policy, and later deducted sick pay that had already been paid from the pilot's paycheck.

The pilot filed a complaint with OSHA alleging retaliation under the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century, the aviation industry whistleblower law known as AIR21. An investigation by OSHA's New York Regional Office found merit to the pilot's complaint. The airline was ordered to abate the violation by reimbursing the pilot for the sick time illegally recouped and to post whistleblower rights posters.

"A policy that forces pilots to make a choice between flying when they are too sick to do so and being retaliated against violates the law," said Robert D. Kulick, regional administrator for OSHA's New York region. "While OSHA is best known for ensuring the safety and health of employees, it is also the federal government's main whistleblower protection agency."

DOL ordered that American Airlines reimburse the pilot for the sick time, interest and any other benefits associated with the sick time. Either party in the case can file an appeal to DOL's Office of Administrative Law Judges.

Detailed information on employee whistleblower rights, including fact sheets, is available online at www.osha.gov/dep/oia/whistleblower/index.html.

Download Center

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • COVID Return-to-Work Checklist, Fall 2021

    Use this checklist as an aid to help your organization return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and healthy manner.

  • SDS Buyer's Guide

    Learn to make informed decisions while searching for SDS Management Software.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Industry Safe

Featured Whitepapers

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2021

    November December 2021

    Featuring:

    • GAS DETECTION
      How to Streamline Gas Detector Maintenance
    • OSHA TOP 10
      OSHA's Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2021
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      How PPE Can Help You Deal with the Harsh Condition of Winter
    • HEARING PROTECTION
      Tackling Hearing Protection in the Workplace
    View This Issue