OSHA has ordered AirTran, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, to pay $1 million in damages after it found the airline retaliated against a pilot who reported safety problems. In 2007, the whistle-blowing pilot raised numerous mechanical concerns to AirTran officials and was terminated shortly thereafter.
According to OSHA, the pilot reported a spike in pilots’ mechanical malfunction reports to the airline. The airline held a hearing that lasted just 17 minutes. Seven days later the pilot was terminated for refusing to answer questions at the hearing. OSHA investigators found that the pilot answered all questions put to him.
In addition to the money, AirTran was also ordered to pay the pilot $1 million and reinstate him.