Ameriflight PR, a company based in California recently fired one of its employees for reporting safety violations. The Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) found that this action constituted wrongful termination. The agency ruled that the airline not only had to reinstate the whistleblower, but compensate him for damages.
According to OSHA documents, the pilot was based out of Puerto Rico. Prior to his termination, the pilot began noticing errors in the fuel calculations of flights being flown out of the base. When the errors began accumulating, he reported the errors to his superiors. When they did nothing, he refused to fly a plane that he knew did not have the proper amount of gas for the flight.
He sent the email to the airline’s management team and his co-workers, alerting them to his concerns about the safety of the airliner. He also spoke to the Federal Aviation Administration about his concerns over the fuel calculations. Then, in January 2010 his employment was terminated.
According to OSHA, the pilot’s actions fell in the whistleblower category and constituted a protected activity. OSHA determined that the airline had acted in retaliation against the pilot.
This case highlights the protections provided under applicable employment laws protecting those employees who voice their concerns about safety issues in the workplace. If you feel that you were wrongfully terminated or are being retaliated against for speaking out, contact The Harman Firm.