Management once again focusing on sick leave usage
AFA recently received information indicating that management is once again focusing on monitoring sick leave usage. It is unfortunate that Inflight continues to use valuable resources to monitor it’s own employees with little to no tangible results. AFA believes it is important to notify Flight Attendants of the program and their respective contractual rights.
Inflight base management will be keeping track of their specifically assigned Flight Attendants. Base management will have a form recording their Flight Attendants’ trip lengths, commuter status, sick leave usage prior to or following vacation, eMaestro trip trade posting history in eMaestro (or Crew Exchange after cutover to JCTE), social media activity around the time of sick leave, and possibly other unknown factors.
Suspicion of sick leave abuse
If base management is concerned with a Flight Attendant’s sick leave, they will forward the information to the Flight Attendant’s performance supervisor. The performance supervisor will evaluate the information and take action if s/he believes there is suspicion of sick leave abuse. Sick leave investigations which lead to terminations are rare; however, be advised that abuse of sick leave is a terminable offense.
“Welfare check” emails
Base management may send out emails to Flight Attendants whenever they accrue attendance points. These sick leave usage/accrual of attendance points emails have been occurring since the current contract ratified, but the program has been inconsistently applied throughout the system. Inflight management is looking to make the practice more consistent.
AFA takes the position these emails must contain only friendly “just checking on you” tone and content because contractually the purpose of the email is to ensure the welfare of the Flight Attendant. Flight Attendants are not obligated to respond to this type of email.
There are only two instances in which a Flight Attendant is required to respond to an attendance related email:
- In the event they have reached four attendance points or
- If calling in sick online after scheduled check-in and prior to wheels up of her/his first flight.
A Flight Attendant may also be contacted to receive counseling anytime s/he receives a No Show pursuant to AFA Alaska Collective Bargaining Agreement §32.E.1 [Attendance Policy: Control Procedure], in which case s/he must respond.
Relevant contractual language
CBA §32.A.3-4. [Attendance Policy: Reporting Procedure]:
3. Inflight management may reach out via electronic communication on the Company intranet to a Flight Attendant anytime s/he accrues attendance points in order to ensure the welfare of that Flight Attendant. The Flight Attendant will not be obligated to respond.
4. Inflight management may contact the Flight Attendant via telephone or electronic communication on the Company intranet and the Flight Attendant will be expected to return the contact as soon as practical under the following circumstances:
a. If a Flight Attendant has accrued a total of four (4) points (regardless of points reduction and/or total bank points) within two (2) consecutive calendar quarters; or
b. If a Flight Attendant calls in sick at or after scheduled check-in and prior to wheels-up of her/his first flight (Sick Leave On-Line at Scheduled Check-In). Inflight management may contact the Flight Attendant via telephone or electronic communication on the Company intranet.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact one of your LEC officers, particularly if you receive any “off script” emails about attendance.
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Yvette Satterlee, Lisa Pinkston, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn, Tim Green and Brice McGee; MEC Grievance Committee Chairperson Jennifer Wise MacColl and MEC Grievance Committee Representative Stephanie Adams