American Airlines denying report it retaliated against employees who reported toxic in-cabin fumes

A Labor Department report released this week found that American Airlines purportedly docked attendance points and discouraged flight attendants from reporting work-related injuries and illnesses from toxic in-cabin fumes on its planes.

The airline is stridently disagreeing with the findings of the federal investigation.

“The safety of our team members and customers is always American’s top priority,” American Airlines asserted in a statement that was emailed to Fox Business. “We respectfully disagree with the investigator’s findings and have scheduled a conference with OSHA to further discuss the investigation.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed a laughable $6,837 in penalties following an August whistleblower investigation.

Julie Hedrick, who is the national president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants that represents American Airlines’ 25,000 flight attendants, blasted the carrier in a statement for using a strict new attendance program to allegedly punish workers.

“The fact that American Airlines is assigning points that can lead to termination for lingering effects of toxic fume inhalation and other work-related injuries is unacceptable,” the association said, according to NBC News. “We are encouraged that OSHA has agreed with APFA and affected Flight Attendants.”

“Our investigation found that the flight attendants engaged in protected activities when they reported illnesses related to jet fuel fumes seeping into the aircraft cabin,” OSHA Area Director Timothy Minor remarked while in Fort Worth, Texas, according to Fox Business. “Workers must feel empowered to inform managers and others about potential hazards that jeopardize workers’ safety and health.”

“Federal law protects workers’ rights to voice workplace safety and health concerns without the fear of retaliation,” he added. “When employers punish employees for doing so, they create a chilling effect that may stop workers from reporting future issues, putting their health and well-being, and that of co-workers, at risk.”

American Airlines was given 15 days from the receipt of its citations and penalties to comply with the findings, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the report before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The company was dragged on social media for the findings and for the teeny tiny fine over the fumes:

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