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OSHA Instructs company to rehire flight instructor

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) informed SIMCOM Training Centers of Orlando to rehire a flight instructor who was dismissed. According to a press release on OSHA’s web site, the instructor was harassed, denied the chance to train students and subsequently terminated.

The ruling determined that the instructor was terminated after repeatedly voicing concerns for safety because the Florida-based company was not adhering to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules under the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR21). 

Fines and payment

The company was charged with paying the following:

  • $201,882 in back wages with interest
  • $100,000 compensation for damages and to cover attorney fees

Whistleblower protections

SIMCOM must also refrain from retaliating against the rehired employee or others who may have been involved. It is further required that the company post information regarding whistleblower protections under AIR21.

Employers are required to provide a safe workplace

People don’t always make the right choices. Employers may not see an issue as dangerous, or they may determine that fixing an issue is not worth the expense. However, this law and others at the state and federal level involving worker safety compliance in specific cases of a businesses (such as construction or restaurants) should be addressed as part of the expense of doing business. 

If there is a dispute about workplace safety involving an employee, it is wise to consult an attorney with experience handling business and corporate law. The fines and damages paid may be greater than amount necessary to comply with various regulations in the first place.

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