9th Circuit Court Upholds Washington State Sick Leave Law For Airline Workers

9th Circuit Court Upholds Washington State Sick Leave Law For Airline Workers

May 28, 2021 — Huge news this week in our fight to ensure Flight Attendants have access to state sick leave laws!  The Ninth Circuit gave Washington state the green light to apply its state sick leave law to airline employees, backing a trial court's decision to toss a challenge from the airline industry. In 2018, AFA intervened in a lawsuit filed by Airlines for America, the industry's trade group, that attempted to block airline workers' access to the sick leave law. AFA argued the case and won:

The three-judge panel decided that the airline industry's main arguments to block Washington's Paid Sick Leave Law for airline workers, that the law is preempted by the Airline Deregulation Act and violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution, don't hold up. The state law requires employers to provide nearly all their Washington-based employees with paid sick leave and bars employers from disciplining (read: points!) or restricting workers who use their sick leave.

"This case sets precedent that airlines are subject to state sick leave laws. There is no reason to exclude aviation workers from these laws. The airline industry should immediately stop spending money fighting aviation workers' rights to sick leave across the country and redirect those resources into the airline for the benefit of all stakeholders. The pandemic makes this decision ever more clear, it is bad policy to strip flight crew of paid sick leave or use of sick leave without being subject to discipline. Next up, Illinois." 

Illinois Flight Attendants, we need your action: Call your State Representative, and tell them to support SB 645, so Flight Attendants and other aviation workers are included and protected by the Illinois Sick Leave Act!

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