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OSHA to AirTran: Pay whistle-blower, let him fly

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

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.

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