U.S. OSHA orders aviation firm to reinstate dismissed pilot fired for raising safety concerns – damages could exceed $500,000

A U.S. pilot who raised a number of safety concerns has won reinstatement to his job, and years of lost wages.

The pilot had complained about safety concerns at work ranging from missed drug tests for pilots to poor recordkeeping.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in its press release on the case, said that the company, which formerly provided “medevac” services to a hospital in Alaska, had suspended and then fired the pilot and “ostracized” him amongst the “close-knit community” for raising safety concerns.

OSHA ordered the company to reinstate the pilot, pay him lost wages back to 2012, plus $100,000 in compensatory damages for pain suffering and mental distress. His total damages could exceed $500,000.

OHSA enforces “whistleblower” provisions under a number of U.S. statutes.

OHSA’s press release may be read here.

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Adrian Miedema

About Adrian Miedema

Adrian is a partner in the Toronto Employment group of Dentons Canada LLP. He advises and represents public- and private-sector employers in employment, health and safety and human rights matters. He appears before employment tribunals and all levels of the Ontario courts on behalf of employers. He also advises employers on strategic and risk management considerations in employment policy and contracts.

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