A pilot for Guam-based Asia Pacific Airlines filed a civil action in the District Court of Guam alleging he was forced to fly unsafe aircraft and subjected to adverse employment actions because of his “Marshallese origin,” allegations which the company “vehemently” denies.
The airline, owned by Saipan-based Tan Holdings Corp. through a subsidiary, provides cargo and charter services in the Asia-Pacific region. The airline has transported cargo between Guam and Hawaii and Miami.
Brian Dolan was a first officer in 2010 when, he alleges, he was passed up repeatedly for promotions that were given to less-experienced pilots who hadn’t been with the company as long as he had. He started with the airline about 14 years ago.
Dolan filed the complaint in District Court on Monday.
Dolan alleges he reported safety concerns with various aircraft and was threatened with termination if he refused to fly a plane that was leaking fuel, court documents state.
In March 2016, Dolan reported to company management that he has flown a 727 aircraft that had a broken fuel tank from Hawaii, accusing the airline of “putting profits before safety.”
The lawsuit alleges Dolan was disciplined, in writing, for sending a March 23, 2016 email regarding his concerns about flying with a leaking fuel tank. He emailed airline management and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Dolan also alleged he was punished for canceling a flight to Korror, Palau, due to bad weather.
And Dolan alleges he was excluded from special flights to preferred destinations like Miami.
Allegations ‘vehemently denied’
In a statement, Tan Holdings, through Chief Legal Counsel Steven Pixley, said Asia Pacific “is an equal opportunity employer with a widely diversified workforce.”
He said the airline “vehemently denies the allegations contained in Mr. Dolan’s complaint.”
Dolan had previously filed a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which was grounded upon the same allegation – that he was discriminated against based upon his national origin, Pixley said.
“This charge was fully investigated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,” he said.
And Asia Pacific fully cooperated with the EEOC, he said.
Asia Pacific presented evidence showing it recently promoted another pilot from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, according to Pixley.
Asia Pacific also submitted evidence showing it employed, perhaps, the first female pilot from the Micronesia region, according to the airline.
“Asia Pacific will vigorously defend the frivolous allegations contained in Mr. Dolan’s complaint,” Pixley said.
The airline didn’t address in detail Dolan’s safety-related allegations.
Source: Google News : https://www.postguam.com/news/local/pilot-alleges-cargo-airline-put-profits-before-safety/article_f25cb71c-24e3-11e7-b2cc-df0a859da562.html