The Whistleblower Law
This week we learned the essence of a safety culture, and that many airlines have a non-reporting culture. When an employee becomes an ‘irritant’ for reporting safety issues, or hurts the ego of a manager who was aware of a situation and should have solved the problem and didn’t, or identifies where the airline is working around policies with ‘carve outs’ that may be in violation of Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs), and someone decides the best way to deal with that problem employee who reports these issues is to have them removed…
But wait, you can’t fire an employee for reporting! You can, however, falsely charge them with a mental health accusation, and send them down the rabbit hole fighting for their life. Or can you? Many managers think that they cannot be held accountable for removing a pilot from flight status if they are still on the payroll. No harm. No foul.
The truth is, regulatory policy has been created to support a reporting culture by establishing programs such as the Air21, whistleblower law, making it illegal to not only discharge an employee, but also illegal to change the terms, conditions, or privileges of their employment for reporting safety issues.
More than that, the report does not have to be external. If you report internally to a manager, chief pilot, or supervisor, and any aspect of your job has been changed because of that report (demotion, pulled from flight status, loss of known crewmember privileges, or unfounded mental health accusation, etc.), then you may have an Air21 claim.
The Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (Air21) 49 U.S.C. §42121 is a joint FAA/OSHA program that extends beyond discharge and compensation, to terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.
Unjust action in any capacity is protected.
You can read more here:
But know one thing:
You have only a minuscule 90 days to file.
Don't give up your rights!
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