Features, Health and Safety, Law and Politics, New York

American Airlines Violates NYC Sick Leave Law

July 29, 2019

By Neal Tepel

NEW YORK, NY – New York City has filed a lawsuit against American Airlines for violating the NYC Paid Sick Leave Law. 

The suit alleges that American Airlines violated the Law by illegally assigning disciplinary points for each sick day used by ground crew workers and thereby illegally retaliating against employees for using sick leave.  The city’s investigation also found that American Airlines fails to pay sick leave at the required rate, fails to allow employees to use accrued sick leave, illegally requires advance notice and medical documentation for fewer than three days, and failed to provide the Notice of Employee Rights. 

“All workers in New York City are entitled to paid sick leave and American Airlines is not above the law. Workers in major transportation hubs where thousands of people pass through everyday should not have to choose between going into work sick or getting in trouble for exercising their right to take a sick day,” said DCWPCommissioner Lorelei Salas.“American Airlines has violated their ground crew’s rights by engaging in practices that make workers afraid to exercise their rights because they will be disciplined for using a sick day. Not only are these practices illegal, but it is disappointing when an employer puts business above their own employees’ health. We will not tolerate any employer that violates employees’ rights to their paid safe and sick leave.”

The city’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) is seeking approximately $375,000 in restitution for more than 750 ground crew workers, including its agents, representatives, fleet service and mechanical employees.

Since the law went into effect, DCWP has received more than 1,800 complaints about the law and obtained more than $10 million in fines and restitution for more than 32,000 workers. 

Under New York City’s Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law, employers with five or more employees who work more than 80 hours per calendar year in New York City must provide paid sick leave to employees. Employers with fewer than five employees must provide unpaid sick leave. Employers and employees can visit nyc.gov/workers or call 311 for more information.

July 29, 2019

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