SkyWest Unpaid Wage Lawsuit
Last Updated on January 11, 2022
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are no longer investigating this matter. The information here is for reference only. A list of open investigations and lawsuits can be viewed here.
At A Glance
- This Alert Affects
- Current and former SkyWest Airlines flight attendants.
- What's Going On?
- A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Skywest flight attendants in Illinois and alleges that the airline cheats its flight attendants out of proper pay.
- What Does the Lawsuit Say the Company Did Wrong?
- The lawsuit alleges that SkyWest only paid its flight attendants for "block time" – the time between the closing and opening of the main cabin door – and failed to compensate them for other essential tasks, such as pre-flight safety checks.
- What Could I Get from a Lawsuit?
- You may be able to recover compensation for unpaid wages and overtime for the past three years.
The case against Skywest is moving forward, but attorneys still need to hear from current members of Skywest who live in Illinois.
On May 24, a motion was granted in Skywest's favor, but attorneys have a window to amend their complaint with the help of some current employees. If you live in Illinois and currently work for Skywest, the litigation needs your help.
Get in touch with us today by filling out the form on this page to find out how you can help ensure flight attendants are properly paid for all time spent working.
A lawsuit has been filed in Illinois alleging that SkyWest Airlines cheats its flight attendants out of proper wages. According to the suit, the airline only pays its flight attendants for “block time” – or the time between the closing and opening of the main cabin door. As a result, flight attendants are being cheated out of wages for time spent checking in for their flights, performing pre-flight safety checks, assisting passengers on and off the airplane and other required duties, the suit claims. The lawsuit alleges that this practice violates state and federal wage laws and was filed to help SkyWest flight attendants in Illinois recover money for time spent outside of block time.
Did SkyWest Break the Law?
The lawsuit alleges that SkyWest broke state and federal wage laws by only paying its flight attendants for “block time.”
What’s Block Time?
“Block time” is sometimes called “flight time” and refers to the actual length of time that it takes to fly from airport A to airport B. Block time begins when the cabin door is closed and ends when the door is opened at the destination.
The lawsuit claims that flight attendants should have been paid for other tasks that were performedoutside of block time. These tasks include “integral and indispensable duties” that are required by SkyWest and heavily regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration. They include:
- Performing pre-flight and pre-boarding safety checks
- Participating in pre-flight briefings with other crew members
- Assisting in the boarding and greeting of passengers
- Providing first-class passengers with drinks and hanging their coats
- Verifying that passengers’ seatbelts are fastened and that overhead compartments are secure
- Briefing exit-row passengers
- Verifying that the number of people on the plane matches the passenger manifest
- Verifying that the plane has been refueled
- Searching the aircraft after landing to make sure suspicious items were not left behind
- Removing trash, folding blankets and cleaning the cabin
- Checking that emergency equipment was not tampered with during the flight
- Verifying that the airplane is stocked with both food and emergency supplies for the next flight
The suit claims that flight attendants must be paid for each hour worked and therefore should have been paid for time spent performing the above activities. The suit compares only paying flight attendants for “block time” to only paying an attorney for time spent in trial. The suit also claims that flight attendants must show up at the airport at a specific time prior to departure of their first flight, make sure they are in full uniform with all necessary items for the flight, clear security checkpoints, and sign in on a company computer, smartphone or tablet – all without pay.
The lawsuit claims that one plaintiff worked 33 hours and 44 minutes over the course of four days, but was only paid for 19 hours and 10 minutes of work.
What About Per Diem?
Instead of paying flight attendants for their actual travel expenses (meals, hotels, etc.), many airlines pay their workers per diem. It’s important to remember, however, that per diem can’t be counted toward an employee’s wages if the amount is equal to or less than the federal per diem rate. In fact, in Skywest’s “Flight Attendant Policy Manual,” per diem is allegedly listed under a heading titled “expenses” – not the section on compensation.
How Can a Lawsuit Help Me?
Skywest flight attendants in Illinois may be able to recover compensation for unpaid hourly wages and overtime. The lawsuit is also seeking an order from the court to stop SkyWest from engaging in these allegedly unlawful practices.
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