A retaliatory action by Air Methods Corp., the largest U.S. provider of air medical transportation services, left a pilot unemployed after he refused to fly a helicopter with a faulty emergency locator transmitter at night over mountainous terrain. The move could very well have saved the pilot from a fatal workplace accident. After his refusal, the pilot was placed on administrative leave and fired shortly after.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted an investigation on behalf of the pilot and found Air Methods Corp. at fault for a violation of OSHA codes. In response, the company was forced to pay the pilot $158,000 in back wages and $8,500 in damages as well as removing all mentions of the firing from the employee’s records. The company was also made to provide whistleblower rights information to the rest of its employees.
Retaliatory actions by employers against employees are illegal.
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—Columbus Workers’ Comp Attorneys