Delta Air Lines despatched the nation’s largest flight attendant union a cease-and-desist letter after its president criticized the corporate’s shortened sick leave coverage for employees with Covid-19.
Last Thursday, Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, tweeted that the union was getting “a number of stories” that Delta “is telling staff throughout work teams that they need to come to work w/ signs even when somebody within the family examined constructive.” She additionally mentioned that constructive staff have been advised to “come to work after 5 days if the fever is beneath 100.9, even when nonetheless testing constructive.”
A day later, Peter Carter, Delta’s chief authorized officer despatched AFA the letter.
“Not solely is that this info false, however it’s actionable as a result of it locations Delta in a extremely adverse gentle by suggesting Delta was asking workers to work whereas they have been unwell,” mentioned Carter’s letter. “Such irresponsible conduct is inappropriate, defamatory and should stop instantly.”
Nelson, whose union does not characterize Delta’s flight attendants however started an organizing drive there in November 2019, defended her feedback and mentioned Delta’s insurance policies have confused flight crews.
“Delta’s coverage now refers to being asymptomatic earlier than returning to work, which was a critical concern as that CDC steering was initially omitted from Delta’s coverage announcement,” she wrote to Delta CEO Ed Bastian on Tuesday. “But we’re nonetheless getting questions from Delta flight attendants about returning to work with a low grade fever and about the truth that Delta’s present coverage solely recommends to check earlier than returning to work and doesn’t require a take a look at.”
Delta up to date its Covid sick leave coverage on Dec. 28 to 5 days off with pay safety — decreased from 10 days — that does not require workers to make use of days of their sick banks. Staff can get a further two days in the event that they take a look at constructive once more on the fifth day.
“Delta has at all times adopted the science to type our insurance policies relating to COVID-19,” a Delta spokesman mentioned Tuesday. “We despatched a stop and desist letter as a result of we imagine establishments and leaders should communicate fastidiously, in truth, and factually.”
The service had requested the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to halve its beneficial isolation time for breakthrough Covid infections to 5 days, warning about workers shortages and flight cancellations, which later materialized. JetBlue Airways and different carriers requested for a similar change. CDC had up to date its steering on Dec. 27, after loosening suggestions for well being care staff.
Cancellations from workers out sick from Covid and a collection of winter storms surpassed 20,000 between Christmas and the primary week of the 12 months. United Airlines, which nonetheless has 10 days of pay safety in place for crews with Covid, mentioned Tuesday that it might additional trim its schedule, with 3,000 staff, about 4% of its U.S. workers, constructive for the coronavirus.