Search Site
Menu
SkyWest Airlines Employee Awarded $2.45 Million in Wrongful Termination Suit

A U.S. District Court recently awarded $2.45 million in damages to John Hayes, a former employee of SkyWest Airlines, in a wrongful termination lawsuit. In the case, Hayes alleged the company had engaged in discrimination and wrongful termination. The verdict included $450,000 in actual damages and $2 million in punitive damages.

The issue began when Hayes started to suffer from kidney failure. After starting dialysis, he returned to work on August 20, 2014, but was suspended because he suffered from lightheadedness shortly thereafter. His doctor had said such symptoms are common for people returning to work after dialysis and cleared him to work, but SkyWest refused to accommodate him.

SkyWest claimed his firing was part of mass layoffs the airline made at Denver International Airport that fall. However, Hayes’ attorneys presented evidence suggesting there were financial reasons for SkyWest to place Hayes on involuntary leave and then fire him. SkyWest is self-insured, and dialysis treatments could cost up to $100,000 per year. Hayes then applied for several other positions at SkyWest, but was always rejected.

The jury sided with Hayes on every claim, including that SkyWest engaged in wrongful termination, retaliation and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Know your rights as an employee

You have a right to take leave to recover from medical treatments and to get your job back when you return if you are physically capable of performing it. An employer who fires a worker simply to avoid paying for healthcare costs or because of that employee’s status as a person with disabilities would likely be liable for wrongful termination.

For more information about how to proceed with a wrongful termination claim, contact an experienced Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.

Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    #600
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
Testimonials
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

FOLLOW US
Facebook Twitter Linkedin RSS Feed JD Supra