Change the AIR21 Law to Prevent Airline Management Retaliation

Change the AIR21 Law to Prevent Airline Management Retaliation

2,162 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!

Why this petition matters

Started by Karlene Petitt

The AIR21, Whistleblower, statute is flawed and does not protect the employee, but enables and supports airline management to retaliate despite the law.

The AIR21 statute (Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century) known as the Whistleblower Law was enacted in 2000 to protect airline employees when they report safety concerns to deter retaliation. Safety Management Systems (SMS) became a federal regulation in 2018. While SMS dictates that employees must report “anything” they see that could impact safety in order to mitigate risk and requires a retaliatory-free environment, the AIR21 statute does not protect employees when they follow the current 2018 SMS Federal Regulation.

The AIR21 Statute must be modified to protect employees who are required by law under SMS to report safety concerns. 

Passenger’s lives worldwide will be at risk every time they get on an airplane if employees are not protected when they bring forth safety concerns. Risk reduction is essential to prevent accidents and ensure passenger safety. If employees are not protected when they report safety concerns, airline management will continue to place personal financial gains ahead of passenger safety and employees will live in fear and remain silent. The results will be catastrophic.

Act now to get this law on the 2023 FAA reauthorization bill. This much-needed change for passenger safety is essential. Unless the public shouts for AIR21 reform, airline management will continue to make decisions contrary to the public's safety.

The necessary changes include: (1) change reference from the “Whistleblower Law” to the "Safety Advocate Law"; (2) extend the restrictive statute of limitations from 90 days to 300 days; (3) Expedite the OSHA investigatory process by limiting OSHA's involvement; (4) expand the definition of protected activity to include SMS; (5) allow to name individuals involved to hold them accountable; (6) liberalize the statute’s damages provision in alignment with similar statutes to include punitive damages; and (7) provide for an alternative to the subjectivity of "reasonable" legal fees to enable the employee full legal reimbursement.

Help me, help you, improve safety worldwide! 

2,162 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!