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AFA’s Fight for FMLA and the need for a real sick leave policy

13 Sep, 2022

Management can’t stop blaming us and our “unscheduled absences” for their own poor schedule and operational planning.

Now they’re sending implicit threats about trying to dissuade us from legitimate use of FMLA in a recent email. In their words:

It’s a classic management fear and division tactic. Management is trying to scare Flight Attendants out of using a program we have a legal right to use to care for ourselves and loved ones. They want to shift blame from management’s own poor schedule planning to Flight Attendants - and question our integrity individually at the exact time we are managing difficult issues in our lives. With our union, we could push back and hold them accountable together.

This highlights another unique issue we face as Delta Flight Attendants: we have no real sick policy.

“As Delta expects employees to report on time every day they are scheduled, Delta has not designated a specific number of occurrences or days of absence or tardiness that requires an unacceptable evaluation or administrative action.” Will we be disciplined for one sick call or after five? No one knows. And that uncertainty is intended to keep us isolated and scared to use our benefits, and legal rights.

It’s not our responsibility to cover management’s poor planning. We are humans who get sick (COVID is still here too and we are on the frontlines of any communicable disease outbreak!)

We need a clear sick policy and the ability to hold management accountable when they try to shift blame. Sign a card, wear your AFA pin, and join our campaign.

Did you know? Flight Attendants originally rarely qualified for FMLA due to our unique schedules. Since our hours of work don’t equate to a normal 40 hour work week, it was virtually impossible to meet the minimum work hours originally established under the Family Medical Leave Act. AFA got to work on a legislative solution to correct this injustice. In 2009, after being deluged by Flight Attendant letters and actions coordinated by AFA, the Senate passed S. 1422 with bi-partisan support - mirroring an earlier adopted House bill - and on December 21, 2009, President Obama signed the FMLA Flight Crew Technical Correction Act into law. Read more >

In solidarity,
Your Delta AFA Organizing Committee

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