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Airlines

American Airlines to Staff: Cough? Fever? Too Bad!

American Airlines to Staff: Cough? Fever? Too Bad!
Jackie Reddy

NYC’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) has filed a legal suit against American Airlines (AA), alleging that it punishes its staff and employees for taking sick leave. The DCWP is seeking $375,000 in restitution for the 750 AA employees and staff it is representing in this action.

Authorities in New York City have taken legal action against American Airlines (AA) because it reportedly punishes its employees for taking sick leave, CBS News reports.

In a lawsuit filed on Thursday by the city’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), it is alleged that the airline has violated the NYC Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law. This piece of legislation states that companies with more than five employees who work over 80 hours per calendar year in the city need to offer paid sick leave to their employees.

The outlet reports that the airline gave disciplinary points for each sick day taken by their employees and did not pay sick leave in a timely manner. It is also alleged that it prohibited workers from taking their accrued sick time and requested advance working and documentation for small periods of leave. As part of the legal suit, DCWP is seeking around $375,000 for 750 members of the airline’s staff, which includes mechanics, representatives and agents.

Commenting on the case in a statement, Lorelei Salas, commissioner for the DCWP, said, “All workers in New York City are entitled to paid safe and sick leave and American Airlines is not above the law. Workers in major transportation hubs where thousands of people pass through everyday should not have to choose between going into work sick or getting in trouble for exercising their right to take a sick day.”

American Airlines has violated their ground crew’s rights by engaging in practices that make workers afraid to exercise their rights because they will be disciplined for using a sick day. Not only are these practices illegal, but it is disappointing when an employer puts business above their own employees’ health. We will not tolerate any employer that violates employees’ rights to their paid safe and sick leave,” she added.

However, a spokesperson for the airline has rebuffed the allegations against AA. Speaking to the outlet in an e-mailed statement, they said, “American Airlines employees enjoy generous sick leave and benefits, including those set by union contracts with terms that are often more generous than required by the New York law. American will continue to work to make sure its team members have generous health and wellness benefits.

[Featured Image: Shutterstock]

View Comments (2)

2 Comments

  1. amanuensis

    amanuensis

    August 8, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    I notice that AA’s e-mailed statement avoids directly addressing the assertion by NYC that employees were disciplined for attempting to use their “generous health and wellness benefits”.

  2. Laxdfw

    August 10, 2019 at 10:33 am

    Generous handing out points if you have a illness no matter how severe. You have to go thru hoops to get FMLA approved to get the points taken away. It’s s insane, getting fmla for a regular illness where other companies just let you use sick time without penalty, my physicians were fed up. I found another job and my health has improved. I ended up getting severely ill several times due to the fact that everyone came to work with fevers, respiratory illnesses and so on. It’s a shame because I enjoyed taking pride in my job.

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