United reinstates 13 flight attendants fired after they refused to work a flight

Thirteen United flight attendants are back on the job. Photo: Katz, Marshall & Banks,

Thirteen United flight attendants are back on the job. Photo: Katz, Marshall & Banks,

Remember back in January, when 13 United flight attendants said they were fired after they refused to fly a trip from San Francisco to Hong Kong? They had made a complaint to OSHA, arguing that they had been too nervous to fly. They wanted their jobs back. 

The problem? In July 2014, someone had written "Bye Bye" on the tail of the Boeing 747 they were supposed to fly to Asia. United had cleared the aircraft, saying there was no security threat, but the flight attendants were not confident, and refused to fly, en masse. 

On Tuesday, the law firm representing the flight attendants, Katz, Marshall & Banks, said all of them have been reinstated. 

“The protections that federal law provides to airline workers are essential to the safety of passenger airline operations,” their lawyer, David Marshall said in a release. “I’m glad that United and these flight attendants have come to a resolution that underscores the importance of these laws for airlines and their employees.”

Apparently, there's more to the settlement than just the flight attendants returning to work, but the law firm said everything else is confidential. 

Sam Risoli, United’s senior vice president of inflight services, also was quoted in the release. 

"We respect the right of our employees to raise concerns in good faith about the safety or security of our operations, and encourage them to do so,” he said. “We welcome these flight attendants back to our team.”

Here's the original OSHA charge. 


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