Flight Attendant Sues Horizon Over Retaliation After Reporting Intoxicated Pilot

A flight attendant is alleging that she was met with retaliation from Horizon Air and Alaska Airlines after reporting the rest of her crew for drinking within 10-hours of their flight and for reporting the pilot for potentially being over the legal limit to fly.

According to the plaintiff, Ms. Brown, one of the other flight attendants admitted to her that they went out drinking, then continued drinking back in the captain’s room once the bars closed.  Ms. Brown alleges that the crew smelled like alcohol when they showed up for her flight.


She also claims she could not find anything in the Horizon protocol that could help her address this situation.

From Oregon Live:

The captain began disparaging Brown to colleagues and co-workers ostracized her, her suit claims.

After weeks and months of anxiety, a supervisor switched out her employee badge with one that didn’t work and effectively grounded her from flying, the suit says. Brown quit on Oct. 5 — feeling she’d been forced out of her job, according to the suit, filed Friday in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

She further claims that their HR department would yell at her and retaliate for her taking time off due to the anxiety.

After reading through the whole article, if everything Ms. Brown is saying is true, it seems to me that Horizon (the organization) isn’t retaliating against her for the initial event, but for her behavior afterward.  This is not to say it is okay to retaliate against her.

After not being able to report the incident (and flying the flight with her allegedly drunk coworkers), she took the rest of the day off.  She also took off time for “work-related anxiety and filed for worker’s compensation”.  I wonder if the negative reactions she was getting from the company were more to do with that than reporting the original incident.

I also am not writing that as a suggestion that it’s okay to retaliate for that reason.  It seems as if she has a strong argument (if the facts are actually correct) that reporting the incident caused (1) hostility in the workplace which caused (2) anxiety which caused (3)her to take off from work which caused (4) HR and her supervisor to get upset with her.


About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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