Showing posts with label legislation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label legislation. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Flight attendant provisions in the FAA Reauthorization Act

Seal of the US CongressLast week the U.S. House of Representatives passed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007, H.R.2881, by a vote of 267-151. The legislation includes a number of provisions of interest to flight attendants in the United States.

The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) issued a news release about the legislation that summarizes the main points that affect flight attendants.

There are several important provisions included in the FAA Reauthorization that AFA-CWA has repeatedly requested for years.

For the first time in over 30 years, a requirement for workplace safety and health protections for flight attendants was finally recognized. Flight attendants suffer numerous occupational injuries and illnesses while working aboard commercial flights at rates several times higher than those for all private industry workers, yet are not covered under Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines.

The FAA Reauthorization also states that the FAA must institute a HIMS, or "Return to the Cabin" Program, that will allow flight attendants an opportunity for rehabilitation after testing positive for drug or alcohol abuse.

The House also instructed the FAA to complete studies on flight attendant fatigue and continue sampling and analyzing onboard cabin air.

The FAA must also initiate a study of actual onboard temperatures to determine if regulations are necessary to mandate standard temperatures onboard aircraft.

Protection for seniority integration in case of an airline merger was also included. This provision will help to ensure that, in the event of an airline merger, all employees are treated fairly and one group is not stapled to the bottom of the merged seniority list.

Additionally, the bill mandates that airlines must notify passengers upon ticket purchase if their aircraft is subject to pesticide spraying.
Also of interest, an amendment to the bill (H.AMDT.808) asks the Secretary of Transportation "to issue regulations requiring air carriers to provide initial and annual recurring training for flight attendants and gate attendants regarding serving alcohol, dealing with disruptive passengers, and recognizing intoxicated persons. The training must include situational training on methods of handling an intoxicated person who is belligerent."

The U.S. Senate will consider this legislation some time next month. If the legislation passes the Senate as well, it will be presented to President Bush for his signature.

Monday, July 2, 2007

FMLA protection for flight attendants

Recently, a bill that would allow flight attendants to provide care for ailing family members without risking their jobs was introduced in Congress. The proposed legislation ( H.R. 2744) is known as the Airline Flight Crew Family and Medical Leave Act, and is sponsored by Congressman Tim Bishop (D-NY).

According to the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), the original Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which was passed into U.S. law in 1993, has excluded many airline workers from the FMLA protections enjoyed by every other full time working person in the United States by failing to take into consideration the unique nature of airline workers’ hours. The new legislation amends the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) so that flight crew members who have been paid for or completed 60% of their company's monthly hour or trip guarantee, annualized over a 12-month period, will be eligible for FMLA benefits.

The AFA is asking its members to voice their support for this important new legislation to their representatives in Congress. The union has set up a web page where you can fill in a form to send a message to your representative. Click here for more information and to voice your support for the Airline Flight Crew Family and Medical Leave Act.