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2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:37 pm
by ual763
http://www.westword.com/news/united-air ... t-10060600

https://www.inc.com/chris-matyszczyk/un ... -that.html

I think United has actually done the right thing here by firing these employees. They claim age discrimination, but the fact of the matter is, is they were hired to do a job and provide a service. Instead, they were playing around on an iPad. People wonder why United has a bad rep, it’s because of a perceived lack of service. Unfortunately, they try and do something about it, and they end up getting sued for age discrimination and may end up having to shell out $1.5 million. Absolutely ludicrous.

And yet this guy in the inc.com article, still manages to bash United for firing them. He, almost daily, bashes the airline for having sour employees and service, and then when they set an example, he bashes them for setting an example. How can anyone take him serious?

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:17 pm
by jersey777
Fired for using an IPAD for 15 minutes and not wearing an apron for the service after flying 40 years with no prior infractions? Maybe cases like this are why morale was so bad at United.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:20 pm
by Drucocu
For f***'* sake you're at work. You dress in your work uniform and don't slack off watching iPads during the boss's time. Is it really that hard?

Is it harsh to fire them over this? Yes, it is. Just some disciplining would've been enough (in my point of view). But well, here we are.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:24 pm
by aviationjunky
I bet their lawyer is LOVING this!

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:35 pm
by jumbojet
ual763 wrote:
And yet this guy in the inc.com article, still manages to bash United for firing them. He, almost daily, bashes the airline for having sour employees and service, and then when they set an example, he bashes them for setting an example. How can anyone take him serious?


I've noticed that too. Every day I read something from inc about some United gaffe. Most of it is actually laughable but he does usually say in the first paragraph to take things tongue in check.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:39 pm
by ual763
jersey777 wrote:
Fired for using an IPAD for 15 minutes and not wearing an apron for the service after flying 40 years with no prior infractions? Maybe cases like this are why morale was so bad at United.


To the contrary, I think lawsuits like this are why the morale is so bad. A large number, think that they are untouchable and immune to discipline. The reality is, they’re in the service industry. They obviously weren’t serving while watching videos on their iPad. When you are a customer-facing employee, you don’t do this. Plain and simple. And it is against the rules. The best restaurants and hotels run an extremely tight ship. Why should Airlines be any different? In my opinion, if your goal is to provide excellent customer service, you need to enforce these things, and set an example. If flight attendants would rather watch videos, go work somewhere else, or do it on your own time.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:07 am
by Ionosphere
This is exactly when there is no morale at UA. These FAs did the service. I don't think an apron is necessary to pour drinks. It seems like a witch hunt to get rid of senior FAs. Something similar at TWA in 1987. A FA with 25 years was fired for taking 4 cup cartons of milk and a used Ambassador Class Amenity Kit after a JFK-CDG flight.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:08 am
by ual763
Ionosphere wrote:
This is exactly when there is no morale at UA. These FAs did the service. I don't think an apron is necessary to pour drinks. It seems like a witch hunt to get rid of senior FAs. Something similar at TWA in 1987. A FA with 25 years was fired for taking 4 cup cartons of milk and a used Ambassador Class Amenity Kit after a JFK-CDG flight.


It’s not just the apron. The main issue was watching movies on their iPad. And service does not end after pouring drinks. And your case against TWA. I stand by TWA on that one too. That is stealing. It doesn’t matter that it is 4 cartons of milk. She/he stole it. At my previous workplace, we fired someone for stealing toilet paper.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:35 am
by FA9295
Do not read any aviation articles from inc.com. Ever. The guy who writes them is absolutely terrible at his job.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:04 am
by USAirKid
Its seems UA's main failure here is a lack of an appropriate system for addressing and grading disciplinary issues. If they had a system that setup say three categories: Minor Offense, Major Offense, Fireable Offense with examples laid out in each they'd be on better footings. But since UA testified that using an iPad for 15 minutes on an airplane is the same as setting a campfire in the lavatory, thats where they failed. (And TBH, once we get on the ground I'll drag the flight attendant who set a campfire in the lavatory to the nearest law enforcement agent to be arrested.)

IMHO setting up a discipline matrix is HR301, and is kindof amazing that it hasn't been established and agreed upon in the union contract.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:33 am
by beechnut
In Canada you'd never get away with firing someone for infractions like these *if it's the first time*. There has to be an escalating response of verbal warning, written warning, suspension and then if the employee doesn't correct him/herself firing. If these are first offenses, they merit a verbal warning first. We're all human, we all screw up from time to time and perfection is an impossible standard to be held up to, otherwise everyone would be out of a job.

It would seem that the courts in the US agree too.

Beech

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:41 am
by NYPECO
The inc.com article is just terribly biased and probably inaccurate.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:46 am
by ual763
USAirKid wrote:
IMHO setting up a discipline matrix is HR301, and is kindof amazing that it hasn't been established and agreed upon in the union contract.

It’s an HR philosophy that is suited more towards the office environment, not the service industry, especially for a customer-facing, safety-centric position. I would bet that United has a discipline matrix setup for employees at HQ. But regardless, it still doesn’t negate the fact that they didn’t do their job as per the guidelines of the company.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:00 am
by ual763
beechnut wrote:
If these are first offenses, they merit a verbal warning first. We're all human, we all screw up from time to time and perfection is an impossible standard to be held up to, otherwise everyone would be out of a job.


While I tend to agree with you somewhat, the issue I see, is that this wasn’t an accidental screw-up. It was knowingly going against company policy. Every FA knows that you’re not supposed to be watching personal videos/surfing Facebook/playing candy crush/etc. on a company issued iPad while working on the aircraft. Sure, a lot of them probably do it, I’m not denying that. But unfortunately, these 2 were caught doing it by an undercover supervisor apparently. They knew better. This is the issue people have with United these days, flight attendants/staff that don’t think the rules apply to them, and ignore the customer.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:07 am
by Varsity1
The bigger, underlying problem is the high cost of these career cat ranchers. Sitting at the top of the payscale for 25+ years and being less productive/enthusiastic than someone fresh off the street is a problem the airline can't shake with lawyers like these.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:17 am
by ual763
Varsity1 wrote:
The bigger, underlying problem is the high cost of these career cat ranchers. Sitting at the top of the payscale for 25+ years and being less productive/enthusiastic than someone fresh off the street is a problem the airline can't shake with lawyers like these.


Exactly! The FAs United needs (and has), are the ones who go above and beyond in making the experience a good one for the customer. I’m talking about the FAs that go around after drink service with glasses of water asking if anyone would like some, going around with the trash bin multiple times, or even going around and offering people coffee/tea after the main beverage service. I’ve seen these flight attendants on flights before, young and old. I know they exist. This is what FAs should be doing. There is simply no excuse to be playing on your iPad. I’m not suggesting we fire all old FAs, but if one has gotten to the point where they simply don’t care enough to provide a quality service, the company should have the right to terminate them, and replace them with someone who will. In fact, they are within their rights to do that. No law was broken, this was simply a civil case (IIRC). But still, I fear that the decision made will continue to breed laziness in certain FAs, that don’t take pride in their job anymore.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:29 am
by RamblinMan
ual763 wrote:
Ionosphere wrote:
This is exactly when there is no morale at UA. These FAs did the service. I don't think an apron is necessary to pour drinks. It seems like a witch hunt to get rid of senior FAs. Something similar at TWA in 1987. A FA with 25 years was fired for taking 4 cup cartons of milk and a used Ambassador Class Amenity Kit after a JFK-CDG flight.


It’s not just the apron. The main issue was watching movies on their iPad. And service does not end after pouring drinks. And your case against TWA. I stand by TWA on that one too. That is stealing. It doesn’t matter that it is 4 cartons of milk. She/he stole it. At my previous workplace, we fired someone for stealing toilet paper.


In both this case and with TWA, the company policy and enforcement has to be considered. It's perfectly acceptable to fire someone for taking items some may consider small or inconsequential or for "slacking off" for relatively short periods of time as long as that policy is applied evenly. If a widely ignored and unenforced rule is suddenly invoked to dismiss a senior employee without any prior documented warnings, then yes, they absolutely have a case to claim age discrimination.

I agree that watching movies on duty should not be allowed. And I understand full well that sometimes senior staff members can have a problem with thinking themselves above the law when it comes to such things. But suddenly laying down the law isn't fair to anyone, and suddenly targeting certain staff based on age race or whatever is discrimination. Having been given amenity kits by a family member who was cabin crew on AA, it leads me to think taking leftover kits is widely tolerated, at least at AA. Either TW had a very different policy, or they targeted that particular employee.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:37 am
by aa87
I'm a lawyer, I don't specialize in employment but have more than passing experience with situations like this. I respectfully, vehemently disagree with everyone defending UA here (I'm also anti-unions). Unless there are other material facts, you simply can't/shouldn't terminate employees for minor infractions with unblemished 30-year careers. Cases like this always make me wonder how defense counsel allowed it to go to trial (when I was on defense side, I always looked for plaintiff's best evidence and arguments, then tailored settlement negotiations accordingly).

Personally, I think the biggest factor in a good flying experience is attitude of the cabin crew. Friendly/nice makes for a great flight, even in middle seat with delays and bad weather. Obnoxious/tyrannical crew makes it miserable, even in aisle seat and clear skies. If pax are being tended to, why on earth should anyone care if an FA takes 10 or 15 minutes to watch on an ipad ? I've often gone to the galley for water and seen FA's in the jump seat reading a magazine or scheduling papers. They've always looked up and asked if I needed anything. BTW, if it was OK to fire them, then its OK to fire every office worker incl lawyers who spends 15 min surfing the web or on personal email during work hours.

The entire problem with airline flying today is everything feels like a maximum security prison - both pax and crew are under constant fear of rule infractions and the consequences, unrelated to safety which is all that matters. No more decency and common sense, and when a lawyer has to say that we're in big trouble.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:38 am
by RamblinMan
ual763 wrote:
But unfortunately, these 2 were caught doing it by an undercover supervisor apparently. They knew better. This is the issue people have with United these days, flight attendants/staff that don’t think the rules apply to them, and ignore the customer.


The very fact that "undercover supervisors" are spying on employees is highly indicative of a toxic work environment. It's hardly surprising that the FAs don't seem to give a rat's ass about the customers when they are shown a total lack of respect from the company.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:40 am
by Varsity1
ual763 wrote:
Varsity1 wrote:
The bigger, underlying problem is the high cost of these career cat ranchers. Sitting at the top of the payscale for 25+ years and being less productive/enthusiastic than someone fresh off the street is a problem the airline can't shake with lawyers like these.


Exactly! The FAs United needs (and has), are the ones who go above and beyond in making the experience a good one for the customer. I’m talking about the FAs that go around after drink service with glasses of water asking if anyone would like some, going around with the trash bin multiple times, or even going around and offering people coffee/tea after the main beverage service. I’ve seen these flight attendants on flights before, young and old. I know they exist. This is what FAs should be doing. There is simply no excuse to be playing on your iPad. I’m not suggesting we fire all old FAs, but if one has gotten to the point where they simply don’t care enough to provide a quality service, the company should have the right to terminate them, and replace them with someone who will. In fact, they are within their rights to do that. No law was broken, this was simply a civil case (IIRC). But still, I fear that the decision made will continue to breed laziness in certain FAs, that don’t take pride in their job anymore.


The FA's at UA and really the US3 in general have done terrible damage to the optics of the entire US airline industry.

They like to collectively bargain for more more more, like they are pilots or something, in an attempt to turn a job into a career, that really isnt a career.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:47 am
by ual763
RamblinMan wrote:
ual763 wrote:
But unfortunately, these 2 were caught doing it by an undercover supervisor apparently. They knew better. This is the issue people have with United these days, flight attendants/staff that don’t think the rules apply to them, and ignore the customer.


The very fact that "undercover supervisors" are spying on employees is highly indicative of a toxic work environment. It's hardly surprising that the FAs don't seem to give a rat's ass about the customers when they are shown a total lack of respect.


I guess we don’t know if they were undercover or not. That probably wasn’t the best choice of words on my part. But it happens in a lot of service industries, particularly hotels/restaurants. The cabin is a publicly accessible place (w/ a ticket of course), the office is typically not. Ever see the show Undercover Boss?

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:59 am
by 9w748capt
Wasn't SMI/J in charge of UA in 2013? I'm sure he salivated at the thought of jettisoning two highly paid senior employees. "A career ending you will like!"

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:00 am
by asuflyer
Any industry that works under union rules should know are clear specific processes for firing employees. According to the article, it sounds as if United HR has no policy to classify infractions handling things on a case to case basis, which doesn’t really work in a union environment and seems extremely hard to believe.

From my experience working in a union environment the union/company agreed contract had an exhaustive list of all possible infractions and in addition would specifically detail what would happen if someone were to commit such an infraction on the job, such as those offenses that are fireable offenses and those that require disciplinary action, warnings or retraining. This usually included documentation for and witnessing repeated negative feedback and failure to do the job properly.

As for the FA’s using iPad’s, unfortunately, some crew feel that since the union exists their jobs are safe and get into the mentality of "I have been working here for 20+ years, I do whatever I want, the company doesn't care about me." This is where the bad service and poor morale begins, and in the end, the airline and customer experience suffers.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:02 am
by rbavfan
Drucocu wrote:
For f***'* sake you're at work. You dress in your work uniform and don't slack off watching iPads during the boss's time. Is it really that hard?

Is it harsh to fire them over this? Yes, it is. Just some disciplining would've been enough (in my point of view). But well, here we are.


So you have full access to their employee file and can say they were never written up/disciplned for this in the past? Must be nice. While bashing United is fun and quite frankly being made very easy by their end. You cannot say they were not disciplined in the past for similar things.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:04 am
by RamblinMan
ual763 wrote:
I guess we don’t know if they were undercover or not. That probably wasn’t the best choice of words on my part. But it happens in a lot of service industries, particularly hotels/restaurants. The cabin is a publicly accessible place (w/ a ticket of course), the office is typically not. Ever see the show Undercover Boss?


I was in a reality show pilot that was filmed at my workplace. It never got picked up but I learned a lot from the experience, the main thing being that reality TV is not the least bit reflective of reality.

Having mystery shoppers providing constructive feedback to employees is a great tool companies can use to improve. Having supervisors secretly observing employees looking for ways to punish them is a death blow to company morale.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:07 am
by rbavfan
Ionosphere wrote:
This is exactly when there is no morale at UA. These FAs did the service. I don't think an apron is necessary to pour drinks. It seems like a witch hunt to get rid of senior FAs. Something similar at TWA in 1987. A FA with 25 years was fired for taking 4 cup cartons of milk and a used Ambassador Class Amenity Kit after a JFK-CDG flight.


That would be theft, so yes they were fired.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:16 am
by tlecam
Every lawyer I’ve talked to (my better half is a litigator) is mystified that 1) a company United’s size behaved this way and 2) that they let the case get to trial.

The plaintiffs (the flight attendants) carried the burden of proof. United was found guilty of age discrimination and of being willful in the discrimination.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:17 am
by CarlosSi
Indeed, not a fan of being authoritative and absolute when it comes to relatively mild offenses or when it’s a “first time offense” (and nothing serious). I don’t see much accomplishment with ridding of experienced FAs unless they were creating a bad culture or in other words, being bad examples, which I guess I understand in that case.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:20 am
by ual763
Sure, some may claim they were targeted. But, they were caught. There is a difference. Just because others have done it, and gotten away with it, doesn’t mean one can claim targeting as an excuse if you get caught red-handed. Of course the lawyers will cry foul here, they’re the ones who profit off of this sort of thing. But in the end the customer, and the airline loses.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:20 am
by rbavfan
aa87 wrote:
I'm a lawyer, I don't specialize in employment but have more than passing experience with situations like this. I respectfully, vehemently disagree with everyone defending UA here (I'm also anti-unions). Unless there are other material facts, you simply can't/shouldn't terminate employees for minor infractions with unblemished 30-year careers. Cases like this always make me wonder how defense counsel allowed it to go to trial (when I was on defense side, I always looked for plaintiff's best evidence and arguments, then tailored settlement negotiations accordingly).

Personally, I think the biggest factor in a good flying experience is attitude of the cabin crew. Friendly/nice makes for a great flight, even in middle seat with delays and bad weather. Obnoxious/tyrannical crew makes it miserable, even in aisle seat and clear skies. If pax are being tended to, why on earth should anyone care if an FA takes 10 or 15 minutes to watch on an ipad ? I've often gone to the galley for water and seen FA's in the jump seat reading a magazine or scheduling papers. They've always looked up and asked if I needed anything. BTW, if it was OK to fire them, then its OK to fire every office worker incl lawyers who spends 15 min surfing the web or on personal email during work hours.

The entire problem with airline flying today is everything feels like a maximum security prison - both pax and crew are under constant fear of rule infractions and the consequences, unrelated to safety which is all that matters. No more decency and common sense, and when a lawyer has to say that we're in big trouble.



Many companies do fire every office worker incl lawyers who spends 15 min surfing the web or on personal email during work hours. It's only allowed when you are off the clock at most places I have ever worked. Except the computer retail company that wanted all employees to be aware of how the web works to show clients.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:41 am
by EA CO AS
ual763 wrote:
The main issue was watching movies on their iPad. And service does not end after pouring drinks.


While I agree that these flight attendants had no business watching movies while they were working a flight, this definitely merited some form of progressive discipline, but not discharge, particularly for two longtime employees with supposedly no other disciplinary action of which to speak.

Having some sort of a defined matrix of do's and don't's is a good idea in theory, but it also needs to be accompanied by a general disclaimer that it's not feasible to establish a complete list of acceptable and unacceptable behavior, but any conduct that is detrimental to the company, customers, or co-workers could result in disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.

To avoid this very sort of uneven discipline, my company has established a process where a weekly meeting is held between legal, labor relations, and management so we can discuss what sort of events are occurring and all agree upon the outcome so it's fair and consistent, while also taking any mitigating or exacerbating circumstances into account. It's a process that works well, and in a case like this, with two employees with supposedly clean records, this would have probably merited a Written Warning in their file or perhaps a short suspension without pay, with a reminder that further instances of poor work performance would lead to discharge.

I do agree it merited something other than just an Oral Warning, though. I've been on PMUA flights where, after 1.5 hours into a 3.5 hour flight, the crew announced on the PA "This concludes our service," and the FAs sat on the jumpseat for the remainder of the flight, never to be seen again. I was embarrassed for them!

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:57 am
by compensateme
This thread makes me laugh, because it demonstrates people's ignorance. Most everybody takes a "5-minute vacation" every (or nearly every) day at work (especially in the smart phone era) and I I guarantee you there's not a single person on these forums who's nevertaken an extended one. Problem is, we're all human and we're all going to have "those moments." Of course, that won't stop some posters with an inferiority complex from insisting they've never done it and anybody who has should be disciplined. And guess what? They're probably writing those comments while at work (and not on a designated break).

"5-minute vacations" aren't problems until they become habitual and it doesn't seem like it was for these employees -- the articles report they had clean records and UA did not try to argue it was a habitual problem they had been repeatedly warned about.

There's almost no doubt there's another reason these employees were fired (in other words, this was just an excuse to can them), and almost undoubtedly related to age (they're protected by laws & a union, and their superiors were looking to circumvent it).

Shame on United!!!!

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:08 am
by amcnd
My mom was a FA for UA on the DC3. Get married = fired... Glad she picked Marriage...

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:15 am
by JHwk
Varsity1 wrote:
The bigger, underlying problem is the high cost of these career cat ranchers. Sitting at the top of the payscale for 25+ years and being less productive/enthusiastic than someone fresh off the street is a problem the airline can't shake with lawyers like these.

I have to say, I have had pretty good luck with some of the most senior flight attendants at United. They know their job and do it well. They might not look as fresh as they were 40 years ago, but we get great service out of them. They don't take shit from people, but I respect that; they do their job.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:15 am
by ual763
compensateme wrote:
This thread makes me laugh, because it demonstrates people's ignorance. Most everybody takes a "5-minute vacation" every (or nearly every) day at work (especially in the smart phone era) and I I guarantee you there's not a single person on these forums who's nevertaken an extended one. Problem is, we're all human and we're all going to have "those moments." Of course, that won't stop some posters with an inferiority complex from insisting they've never done it and anybody who has should be disciplined. And guess what? They're probably writing those comments while at work (and not on a designated break).

"5-minute vacations" aren't problems until they become habitual and it doesn't seem like it was for these employees -- the articles report they had clean records and UA did not try to argue it was a habitual problem they had been repeatedly warned about.

There's almost no doubt there's another reason these employees were fired (in other words, this was just an excuse to can them), and almost undoubtedly related to age (they're protected by laws & a union, and their superiors were looking to circumvent it).

Shame on United!!!!


And most of us have probably never been caught either. Sure, I’ve taken a so-called “5 minute vacation,” but if I was caught, I would have to own up to it. It’s a risk we take, it didn’t pan out for them. But then again, I work in an office environment now. If I was sitting in front of 200+ customers while representing my company, I most definitely would not be on my iPad watching movies. That’s the difference here. While sitting at the airport, FAs are permitted to use their phones/iPads however they please. But, when on board, there is no place for that kind of behavior.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:16 am
by ual763
JHwk wrote:
Varsity1 wrote:
The bigger, underlying problem is the high cost of these career cat ranchers. Sitting at the top of the payscale for 25+ years and being less productive/enthusiastic than someone fresh off the street is a problem the airline can't shake with lawyers like these.

I have to say, I have had pretty good luck with some of the most senior flight attendants at United. They know their job and do it well. They might not look as fresh as they were 40 years ago, but we get great service out of them. They don't take shit from people, but I respect that; they do their job.


I have too! In fact moreso than some of the middle aged FAs. But, there are a select few, that just don’t care anymore.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:22 am
by Dominion301
rbavfan wrote:
Ionosphere wrote:
This is exactly when there is no morale at UA. These FAs did the service. I don't think an apron is necessary to pour drinks. It seems like a witch hunt to get rid of senior FAs. Something similar at TWA in 1987. A FA with 25 years was fired for taking 4 cup cartons of milk and a used Ambassador Class Amenity Kit after a JFK-CDG flight.


That would be theft, so yes they were fired.


Question: have you ever made a photocopy for personal purposes at work? If you (almost certainly) have, that’s quite the pot and kettle eh!

Beechnut is right about what he said in Canada. Here labour laws would not allow for the firing of someone for such a minor first time infraction. The iPad usage discipline is akin to losing your driver’s licence for getting a parking ticket.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:02 am
by SFOformerFA
As a former UA flight attendant for 20 years, I have to wonder if these employees had a history of poor performance. It was well known that "problem children" --f/a's that disregarded rules, had poor attendance, pilfered common property, or had a number of negative comments from customers and fellow employees -- were watched more carefully than the good performers. While the violations that got them fired weren't severe, it's likely they both were under the watchful eye of management.

I disliked the attitude on the property, at the time, that you could be a bad employee and the Union would defend you. The Union was also aware that their were some rotten eggs that frequently came to the company's attention. Maybe they don't need to defend people who clearly and blatantly violate rules.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:20 am
by USAirKid
ual763 wrote:
USAirKid wrote:
IMHO setting up a discipline matrix is HR301, and is kindof amazing that it hasn't been established and agreed upon in the union contract.

It’s an HR philosophy that is suited more towards the office environment, not the service industry, especially for a customer-facing, safety-centric position. I would bet that United has a discipline matrix setup for employees at HQ. But regardless, it still doesn’t negate the fact that they didn’t do their job as per the guidelines of the company.


I have worked in different service industry positions as both a manager and a line employee. We used these types of systems. Late? Written up. Is your cash drawer short more than $2? Written up. Cuss out a customer? Sent home and written up. These things get documented, and signed by the employee so when or if it comes time to fire them, there is documentation that the employee was warned about the problems with their behavior.

SFOformerFA wrote:
As a former UA flight attendant for 20 years, I have to wonder if these employees had a history of poor performance.


It was mentioned in the article that there was only one infraction in over a decade's worth of work. That seems to show that they have a history of good performance.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:32 am
by flydude380
Great to see that they were compensated! I think we all know that UA probably wanted to do anything to fire their employees at the peak of the salary scale and seniority. Like seriously? Playing on their iPad? When was this happening through the flight? During a busy time?

And sone say here employees are never fired...

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:46 am
by oldannyboy
ual763 wrote:
Ionosphere wrote:
This is exactly when there is no morale at UA. These FAs did the service. I don't think an apron is necessary to pour drinks. It seems like a witch hunt to get rid of senior FAs. Something similar at TWA in 1987. A FA with 25 years was fired for taking 4 cup cartons of milk and a used Ambassador Class Amenity Kit after a JFK-CDG flight.


It’s not just the apron. The main issue was watching movies on their iPad. And service does not end after pouring drinks. And your case against TWA. I stand by TWA on that one too. That is stealing. It doesn’t matter that it is 4 cartons of milk. She/he stole it. At my previous workplace, we fired someone for stealing toilet paper.


Wow. NOT wearing an apron! Wow.... Toilet paper. A used amenity kit. Talk about stealing... As if they had been stealing jewellery from the duty free cart. Those cartons of milk were probably going to be thrown away anyway.
Care to talk about how much CEOs are STEALING with their golden parachutes instead....?

Gee, I wouldn't like to be working for someone like you.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:57 am
by oldannyboy
aa87 wrote:
Personally, I think the biggest factor in a good flying experience is attitude of the cabin crew. Friendly/nice makes for a great flight, even in middle seat with delays and bad weather. Obnoxious/tyrannical crew makes it miserable, even in aisle seat and clear skies. If pax are being tended to, why on earth should anyone care if an FA takes 10 or 15 minutes to watch on an ipad ? I've often gone to the galley for water and seen FA's in the jump seat reading a magazine or scheduling papers. They've always looked up and asked if I needed anything. BTW, if it was OK to fire them, then its OK to fire every office worker incl lawyers who spends 15 min surfing the web or on personal email during work hours.

The entire problem with airline flying today is everything feels like a maximum security prison - both pax and crew are under constant fear of rule infractions and the consequences, unrelated to safety which is all that matters. No more decency and common sense, and when a lawyer has to say that we're in big trouble.


:checkmark:

Thanks for instilling some sense into this discussion.
I'd like to see some of the posters' work records for a laugh..... AS IF...ahahaha!!! :rotfl: :stirthepot:

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:59 am
by oldannyboy
Varsity1 wrote:
[
They like to collectively bargain for more more more, like they are pilots or something, in an attempt to turn a job into a career, that really isnt a career.


Care to explain why being an F/A should not be a career?

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:42 am
by TC957
I say good on the F/A's for getting back and winning against UA. They didn't deserve to be treated like this after such a long service record with them. In every company there has to be a bit of give & take on both sides. So glad I never worked for any US company.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:01 am
by LMFNINJA
It seems that common sense and reasonable intelligence are in short supply at the management offices of UA.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:27 am
by Blimpie
Sorry, but to me this makes no damn sense. It was not from reports as though the FAs were sitting around watching last week's Game of Thrones, or a stream of National Lampoon's Summer Vacation on Netflix; but was like more a case of "Hey check out this stupid link to YouTube my husband sent" sort of thing. If the case UA had was so strong, then why bother even adding in the "oh, and they didn't wear their little aprons while serving drinks" to the termination cause.

Sorry, but in all my years in management (in the media), I see HR pull this stunt all the time; let's fire the guys who are less than two or three years from retirement so we can't axe their befits, and replace them with kids who will work for less than a third. HR departments do this all the time. Against my own rants, HR let one of my best editors go who had 24 years on the job, claiming he suddenly had a drug and alcohol abuse problem, and was selling crack out of the back of his car to boot. Man, never missed a day or a deadline in 24 years. HR then replaced him with an unpaid college intern.

At least, a written rep would have been in order, possibly a written rep if UA wanted to be a hard-ass, if all things said in this incident are true, but the article is all the information I have to go on, so I wlll take it face value. So, as for the UA FA terminations, I completely will buy in to this termination as an age discrimination action.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:32 am
by sofianec
I simply don't understand what the problem is. FA took some time to check on some photos on iPad, during a flight. Which reminds me of a story by our family lawyer, he passed god bless him. He told me a story of a gypsy King who got caught up with the Police, potentially losing everything asks our lawyer to help him. In 1 week, court hearing, everything fine, a free man. But then the gypsy King felt he paid too much money for too little work. "That was too easy for you, I paid you too much" - the lawyer replied "And because I am that good to make you a free man with so little work, that's why you paid so much".

I bet these seasoned FAs could have done their duties with excellence even blindfolded and still manage to see a whole episode of The Good Wife while on board. Experience and seniority are completely ignored and undervalued these days. People in service industry and FAs in particular (and by a very vast majority of Anetters strangely) are expected to be submissive slave-like robots to be scrutinized by every single ahole with a twitter account - crazy! But hey let's decommission the older models for slightest of issues cause we pay "it" too much and to slap our backs for good job done get extra crispy bonus on top of our million dollar bonuses firing old FAs cause too much money. Thank God for that judge. In fact I am 100% sure that other FAs were treated similarly and truly hope a class action is raised. This corporate ageism in the workplace must be eradicated.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:08 am
by compensateme
ual763 wrote:
And most of us have probably never been caught either. Sure, I’ve taken a so-called “5 minute vacation,” but if I was caught, I would have to own up to it. It’s a risk we take, it didn’t pan out for them. But then again, I work in an office environment now. If I was sitting in front of 200+ customers while representing my company, I most definitely would not be on my iPad watching movies. That’s the difference here. While sitting at the airport, FAs are permitted to use their phones/iPads however they please. But, when on board, there is no place for that kind of behavior.


:crazy: :crazy: :crazy: Let's not pretend the job is something it's not. Unless it's an eventual flight, a FA has more down time than the average office worker. Once a flight is airborne, they perform service, then gossip amongst themselves in the gallery, then collect trash, gossip some more, and then maybe -- if you're lucky -- offer coffee/water to the cabin.

The employees acknowledged wrong doing, they just insisted it was trivial. UA acknowledged they had clean records, but stuck to the narrative that it was a serious offense.

But let's be real, this wasn't about using an iPad or failing to wear an apron. This was about a company eager to get rid of a pair of senior employees -- the Company didn't argue the employees had poor records, it tried to insist the offenses were as serious as setting fire to the restroom (which is a dead giveaway of its intentions IMO). Shame on UA.

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:04 am
by luvfa
If United’s Discipline is similar to ours, it’s based on Progressive Discipline. Not wearing an Apron, and using an iPad would be a minor infraction and to Terninate on a First Offense is beyond excessive! The article said both FAs had impeccable records. Add to that, if United didn’t do consistently apply the same Discipline to newer FAs than its blatant! Yes, FAs are there to provide Customer Service, but p, ( judging from their Seniority), they were on a long haul flight and you can provide excellent service and go through the cabin multiple times, but there can still be down times when crews need a few minutes to themselves, were human not robots! Furthermore, at my Company, everything, from our Manuals to important forms and Documents are on our IPads! Some also used the argument about surfing on Company time, etc,;and while the FAs are on the clock through out the flight, there are many periods, ( as much as 1-2 hours), that are Unpaid including times briefing, safety checks, boarding, deplaning, going thru customs and delays st the Gate where FAs receive ZERO Compensation. Fifteen Minutes is nothing compared to that!

Re: 2 Fired United FAs awarded $800k+ (Possibly 1.5mil) From Jury

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:34 am
by DashTrash
SFOformerFA wrote:
As a former UA flight attendant for 20 years, I have to wonder if these employees had a history of poor performance. It was well known that "problem children" --f/a's that disregarded rules, had poor attendance, pilfered common property, or had a number of negative comments from customers and fellow employees -- were watched more carefully than the good performers. While the violations that got them fired weren't severe, it's likely they both were under the watchful eye of management.

I disliked the attitude on the property, at the time, that you could be a bad employee and the Union would defend you. The Union was also aware that their were some rotten eggs that frequently came to the company's attention. Maybe they don't need to defend people who clearly and blatantly violate rules.


Unions are required by federal law to represent all bargaining employees equally. The union and the union reps who handled the case are subject to a Duty of Fair Representation (DFR) lawsuit should they fail to do so. This includes non-member employees who are required to pay a maintenance fee in an agency shop.