FAA Extends Slot-Use Waiver for Airlines

American Airlines Faces Fines for Punishing Workers Who Reported Toxic Fumes

American Airlines illegally took punitive action against flight attendants who reported the presence of toxic fumes upon entering aircraft cabins, NBC News reported today.

Thus say the findings of an Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) whistleblower investigation that was commenced in August 2022. OSHA officials have said that the Texas-based airline retaliated against flight attendants who registered these complaints by taking away attendance points, as well as discouraging them from disclosing work-related injuries and illnesses.


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“Our investigation found that the flight attendants engaged in protected activities when they reported illnesses related to jet fuel fumes seeping into the aircraft cabin,” OSHA Area Director Timothy Minor of Fort Worth, Texas said in a statement. “Workers must feel empowered to inform managers and others about potential hazards that jeopardize workers’ safety and health.”

Julie Hedrick, the national president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA)—the group which represents more than 24,000 U.S.-based flight attendants working for American Airlines—censured the carrier for using its stringent new attendance program to penalize such employees.

“The fact that American Airlines is assigning points that can lead to termination for lingering effects of toxic fume inhalation and other work-related injuries is unacceptable,” APFA said in a statement. “We are encouraged that OSHA has agreed with APFA and affected Flight Attendants.”

OSHA is recommending that American Airlines be fined almost $7,000 for its unlawful actions. In its response statement, the airline said, “The safety of our team members and customers is always American’s top priority. We are reviewing the findings of the OSHA investigation.”

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