Following a lawsuit filed by the State of New York against American Airlines, attention has been drawn to their Flight Attendant sick leave policy. I have published it here.
A flight attendant for American Airlines reached out to share the sick leave policy that has recently been the focus of a lawsuit against American Airlines in New York. I do not claim to be a journalist, I am a blogger, but I want to be clear about the provenance of this document.
It was sent to me by an employee I believe to be currently at the airline and genuine. I did not acquire the document by nefarious means, it was sent to me from what appears to be a paper copy that they photographed. I have reached out to American in the past to no avail, so I have not waited to publish until they had an opportunity to confirm or deny; a flat denial to comment on internal documents is the most likely outcome anyhow.
What It Says About American Airlines
Looking at the policy, I don’t see it as unduly harsh. I have been sympathetic to employee concerns at American Airlines for some time, commenting on flight attendant difficulties as well as those of mechanics. I have also been vocal that Doug Parker and senior leadership should find a new place to work.
That said, the policy allows for up to 50 sick days in a rolling 12-month calendar as long as they are not during critical periods. Late reports outside of contractually agreed notice periods are allowed up to ten times in the same 12-month rolling calendar. That seems incredibly generous.
As a business segment manager, I couldn’t see how I could run the business with an employee out for up to five days ten times throughout the year. However, I also find the concept of not being able to get sick inside of a notice period during a critical period such as Thanksgiving to be a little unforgiving.
What Leak Says About Flight Attendants
Flight attendants aren’t happy with much at American Airlines these days. This leak comes following a large number of flight attendants that have voiced their concern over the last few months. They just aren’t happy and are not getting any happier. Everything feels like a step too far and some of that may be down to the contract that their unions have secured with the airline, regardless of whether collusion between the carrier and union reps is founded.
The sick policy seems generous from a business management perspective of someone who does not work in the airline industry and does not manage union employees. The state of New York claims there are violations and I would imagine that they are founded claims if they have brought suit. The document sheds light on what that sick policy is and some flight attendants remain upset about it.
What do you think? Is American Airlines sick policy for flight attendants reasonable? How would you change it if you had such authority?