Delta Grounds Flight Attendants Over Uniform Reactions
Delta Air Lines introduced a new, eye-popping, purple uniform design in 2018 on the tail-end of a huge wardrobe malfunction at competitor American Airlines in which employees reported a myriad of health problems related to chemicals present in the fabrics used to construct the outfits. Eventually, American was forced to scrap the uniform and start over with a new supplier after a long period of denying the extent and severity of the company’s uniform situation.
Delta assured its employees and the public that the company had taken appropriate measures to prevent a similar uniform disaster by closely monitoring the sourcing and manufacturing process.
Since the introduction, we’ve been learning of a growing number of Delta flight attendants that are experiencing reactions to the new Zac Posen designed pieces they were issued last year. As more crew-members have reported the problems ranging from skin reactions to breathing problems, Delta management has become increasingly less understanding or flexible.
Delta’s “Rules of the Road”
In the beginning, some flight attendants were told they could switch to generic black business attire while the company developed a plan to address the situation but now Delta has informed these same employees that they either put on the purple or else.
Flight attendants seeking assistance from managers, who they have been told they can trust, are being immediately pulled from service. Once removed from flight status, they are then dropped into an exhausting disability-benefits gauntlet which eventually leads to a “career decision” situation. In other words, it appears Delta has opted to deploy a clever strategy designed to make their expanding uniform issue disappear while simultaneously ridding the company of sick and often more-senior flight attendants.
Here is what happens to flight attendants, we’ve spoken to, who report health related uniform issues to their manager:
- Removed from service
- Told to put in for disability and contact Sedgwick — a company contracted by Delta to minimize the cost of employee absences, on-the-job injuries etc.
- Progressed to being offered the choice to quit, retire, or retrain for a lower paid, non-flight position
As we hear from Delta flight attendants, we are referring them to a law firm that has offered to assist with their situation.
Related: There is also a large group of Delta flight attendants involved in a lawsuit regarding discrimination.