Airline workers are often at risk of serious injury from occupational trauma. The possible dangers of airline work include hearing damage, musculoskeletal damage, head injury, infectious diseases and amputation. In many cases, these injuries occur because of unsafe working conditions. Employees who report safety issues with airplanes and airports have the right to be heard and to be shielded from possible retaliation.
Whistleblower protection for American employees
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration protects whistleblowers from retaliation under a broad umbrella of legislation, as a Chicago American Airlines employees compensation lawyer is aware. This legislation includes the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which covers a number of private industries, and a group of 21 federal laws protecting workers in industries such as rail transportation and air transportation.
A recent case at LaGuardia Airport
In a recent case reported by the Los Angeles Times, an employee at LaGuardia Airport walked out of work and filed a report of unsafe working conditions on an airplane after he and more than 100 colleagues were forced to clean bodily fluids from seats during the international Ebola crisis. The workers were provided with thin latex gloves that tore easily and did not protect them from the hazard of infection. The airport whistleblower was fired by his airline after the walkout and the complaint. OSHA fined the airline and reinstated the worker.
Workers have the right to walk out if they are in severe danger
If workers are asked to do a severely dangerous job, safety legislation gives them the right to refuse when all of the following conditions are in place:
- There is a risk of serious injury, disease or death if the job is carried out in the current conditions.
- The employer cannot or will not correct the hazardous situation.
- There is not enough time to contact OSHA or other regulatory bodies with an official complaint about the situation.
A Chicago American Airlines employees compensation lawyer knows that workers are protected from retaliation when they choose to walk out of such situations.
Whistleblower investigations are increasingly common
Issues of urgent safety concern have become more common in America. According to OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program, whistleblower investigations in the workplace reached an all-time high during 2014 with a total of 3060 cases. Airline employees and other workers at risk of injury have a right to protection when they speak up.
People who have faced life-threatening conditions on the job should consider calling a Chicago American Airlines employees compensation lawyer today.