Every Massachusetts worker has the right to bring forth on-the-job safety concerns, without fear of retaliation by an employer hoping to cut corners. The hope is, they can prevent a Boston work-related accident.
That right is especially crucial when the industry is charged with providing a service to the public – one which they have every right to expect will be completed safely.
In the airline industry, if on-the-job safety standards aren’t met, people’s lives are put at risk.
And that wasn’t a risk one AirTran Airways pilot wanted to take.
That’s why he stepped forward, repeatedly, to voice safety concerns regarding certain aspects of his plane’s mechanics.
Our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys applaud him for this.
Unfortunately, when he did so, he was punished by the airline, a subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co. His employer responded to his reporting of safety concerns by suspending him and followed with a swift judgment for termination.
Why wouldn’t an airline want to know if their equipment was unsafe? Why wouldn’t AirTran want to prevent potential harm, not only to their employees, but to the public at-large, which trusts the airline to get them and their loved ones safely to their destination?
It’s a question that hasn’t yet been satisfactorily answered.
But there is good news to emerge from this shameful scenario.
The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration, the federal agency charged with overseeing complaints of workplace dangers, found the airline’s actions were egregious.
So wrong, in fact, that US Department of Labor’s OSHA orders AirTran Airways to reinstate pilot, pay more than $1 million in back wages and damages OSHA found airline violated whistleblower protection provision of AIR21
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