Bald Mountain Air Service, an aviation company based in Anchorage, Alaska, will pay out $500,000 in a whistleblower case in accordance with a ruling handed down by an administrative law judge. The company will appeal the ruling, which was issued by Judge Scott R. Morris on October 10.
In issuing the ruling, Morris found the company violated whistleblower protections after it fired one of its pilots, Brian Bell, who (along with another Bald Mountain employee) had complained about the airliner’s safety and training practices. Those complaints led to a surprise FAA inspection that resulted in about $67,000 worth of fines. The airliner fired Bell just two days later.
Among Bell’s complaints were that the airliner was falsifying training records and flying with faulty or damaged equipment with customers on board. Bald Mountain had argued it was planning on firing bell before he spoke with officials from the FAA, but the judge’s ruling aligns with a finding by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 2016 that Bald Mountain did not have any clear or convincing evidence that Bell would have been fired anyway.
In addition to the penalty, Bald Mountain will be required to post a list of whistleblower protections in all of its facilities and offer trainings on whistleblower protections to all employees.
Blowing the whistle on company wrongdoing
If you become aware of wrong or illegal actions on the part of your employer or certain workers in your company, you can report these issues without having to fear about losing your job or experiencing other forms of retaliation.
For more information on how you should proceed, contact a skilled whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group.