PROFITS OVER SAFETY AND PROFITS OVER PEOPLEUnfortunately, the airline industry often times utilizes its extreme power and influence to place profits over safety and profits over people. Airline industry whistleblowers play an important role in society to ensure that adequate checks and balances exist to protect the safety of the flying public.
WHAT IS AN AIRLINE INDUSTRY WHISTLEBLOWER?An airline industry whistleblower is a employee who provides knowledge and details of a air carrier safety violation to their employer and/or government entity, such as in the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or other government oversight entity in your country.
IS A WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTED FROM RETALIATION?Under the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21) 49 U.S.C. § 42121(a):
[n]o air carrier or contractor or subcontractor of an air carrier may discharge an employee or otherwise discriminate against an employee with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because the employee (or any person acting pursuant to a request of the employee):
(1) provided, caused to be provided, or is about to provide (with any knowledge of the employer) or cause to be provided to the employer or Federal Government information relating to any violation or alleged violation of any order, regulation, or standard of the Federal Aviation Administration or any other provision of Federal law relating to air carrier safety under this subtitle or any other law of the United States;
(2) has filed, caused to be filed, or is about to file (with any knowledge of the employer) or cause to be filed a proceeding relating to any violation or alleged violation of any order, regulation, or standard of the Federal Aviation Administration or any other provision of Federal law relating to air carrier safety under this subtitle or any other law of the United States;
(3) testified or is about to testify in such a proceeding; or
(4) assisted or participated or is about to assist or participate in such a proceeding.The reporting of FAA regulations on airplane safety are all protected conduct under AIR-21. The FAA regulations can be found by clicking here.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED RETALIATION?If you have reported violations under AIR-21, and have been threatened, coerced, restrained from acting, faced intimidation, blacklisted, and/or terminated, then you have been retaliated against in violation of your federally protected rights to take action for the concern of the safety of the flying public. An airline industry whistleblower has protections to assist in the quest that profits over safety do not prevail.
WHAT ARE POSSIBLE REMEDIES AND RECOVERY UNDER AIR-21?
- Lost Wages and Benefits
- Emotional Distress
- Reputational Harm
- Attorneys’ Fees and Costs
- Justice and Accountability for the Responsible Parties
HOW TO FILE AN AIR-21 CLAIM?Within 90 days of when the whistleblower knew or should have known of adverse retaliatory action, and AIR-21 complaint must be filed initially with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In 2015, the FAA and OSHA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate cooperation and coordination concerning the protection of whistleblowers under AIR-21. “The FAA has responsibility to investigate complaints related to air carrier safety and has authority under the FAA’s statute to enforce air safety regulations and issue sanctions to airmen and air carriers for noncompliance with these regulations. FAA enforcement action may include air carrier and/or airman certificate suspension and/or revocation and/or the imposition of civil penaltiesAdditionally, FAA may issue civil penalties for violations of 49 U.S.C. § 42121. OSHA has the responsibility to investigate employee complaints of discrimination and may order a violator to take affirmative action to abate the violation, reinstate the complainant to his or her former position with back pay, and award compensatory damages, including attorney fees.”
If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury or wrongful death as a result of the negligence of others, you may be able to file a claim or lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries.
If you are an airline industry whistleblower fired as a result of making a complaint under AIR-21, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages.
Knowles Law Firm, PC will advocate for your rights.