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Southwest Airlines to pay Mechanic $35,000 to Settle Whistleblower Lawsuit

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Southwest Air to pay Mechanic $35,000 to Settle Lawsuit

Southwest Air to pay Mechanic $35,000 to Settle Lawsuit

Southwest Airlines has settled a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a mechanic who alleged that he was disciplined for finding and reporting two cracks in the fuselage of a Boeing 737-700.

The mechanic alleged he faced disciplinary action after he found the cracks during a routine inspection of the aircraft. The whistleblower alleges he was called into a meeting with his supervisors to “discuss the issue of working outside the scope of his assigned task.” He claims the airline issued him a “Letter of Instruction” saying he had acted outside the scope of work in his task card. In the letter, the mechanic was warned that he could face disciplinary actions if he violated his job tasks again, according to

It its Letter of Instruction, Southwest Airlines said it issued the admonishment because the mechanic had worked “outside the scope of his task” and not because he reported a safety issue. The firm said the mechanic was not entitled to whistleblower protection because the Letter of Instruction was not a disciplinary action, according to

The lawsuit was filed under the whistleblower protections of the AIR-21 statute (the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century.) The statute provides an appeal process for airline workers who are fired or disciplined for reporting safety information, reported.

Southwest Airline’s motion for summary judgment was dismissed by a Department of Labor Administrative judge dismissed on January. The judge granted in part the whistleblower’s motion for summary judgment. The judge’s summary of the allegations, viewed by, reads: “On the evening of July 2, 2014, the [mechanic] was assigned by [Southwest] to perform a [maintenance] check on a Southwest Boeing 737-700 aircraft, N208WN. This maintenance check is part of Southwest’s Maintenance Procedural Manual (MPM). This check requires a mechanic to follow a task card which details the tasks to be accomplished.” The task card requires the ” mechanic to “ walkaround” the aircraft to visually inspect the fuselage. During his inspection, the [mechanic] discovered two cracks on the aircraft’s fuselage and documented them. Discovery of these cracks resulted in the aircraft being removed from service to be repaired.”

The administrative judge sided with the mechanic, saying he engaged in activities protected by AIR-21 and that Southwest Airlines was aware of it. No final decision was reached on the merits of the mechanic’s story, but the settlement was announced shortly after the administrative judge’s ruling. Southwest has also agreed to remove the disciplinary action from the mechanic’s file, reported. disclaimer: This article: Southwest Airlines to pay Mechanic $35,000 to Settle Whistleblower Lawsuit was posted on Monday, February 16th, 2015 at 4:46 pm at and is filed under Other Lawsuits.

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