7.17.20 – July 2020 Voluntary Early Out Program (VEOP) and Extended Voluntary Leave of Absence (EVLOA) FAQs

Friday, July 17, 2020

July 2020 Voluntary Early Out Program (VEOP) and
Extended Voluntary Leave of Absence (EVLOA) FAQs

APFA understands that many of our Flight Attendants have questions while making these important decisions during this ongoing pandemic. We have compiled a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help guide you with making the best decision for yourself. Should you have further questions regarding the VEOP, EVLOA, or WARN notifications, please contact an APFA Contract and Scheduling Representative by clicking here.

July 2020 Voluntary Early Out Program (VEOP) FAQs
There are three (3) VEOP options available:

Option A: Ten (10) Years or More of Occupational Seniority: Extended Payout/No Lump Sum
Option B: Ten (10) Years or More of Occupational Seniority: Lump Sum Payout
Option C: Fewer Than Ten (10) Years of Occupational Seniority

Eligibility

1. When do I have to be active in order to be eligible for the VEOP, and who is eligible? 
You need to be in active status as of July 15, 2020. Absent exceptions required by law, active status for the purpose of this program is defined as a Flight Attendant on payroll receiving pay from the company, such as paid sick/vacation, IOD salary continuance, a previously offered PVLOA or VLOA, FMLA, or military leave.

2. What date do I have to have ten years of occupational seniority in which to qualify? 
You need to have ten years of occupational seniority as of July 15, 2020.

Pay

3. For the Option A VEOP, how much am I paid each month? 
You will be paid 38 hours at your applicable JCBA hourly rate as of October 1, 2020, for a period of 12 months.

4. What are the total pay hours if I participate in Option B? 
You will receive 456 hours of pay at your applicable JCBA rate.

5. When will the Option B lump sum be paid out?
The lump sum will be paid out no later than August 15, 2021.

6. Will I be taxed on the Option B lump sum?
Yes, standard taxes will be applied to the lump sum.

7. What if my pay scale changes within the 12 months? 
You will be paid at your contractual hourly pay rate in effect at the start of your VEOP.

Travel/ Positive Space Passes

8. How many positive space tickets will I receive?
You will receive eight (8) positive space, round trip tickets (A12), bookable in E inventory for VEOP Options A and B only. These tickets must be used within five years of the start of the VEOP.

9. What travel status do I have if I take VEOP Option C?
You will have 24 months of travel at a D2R status

65-Point Plan

10. What is the 65-point plan, and how do I qualify?
To qualify for the 65-point plan, you must have a minimum of 10 years of service with American, and your age plus years of service must equal 65.

Vacation Payout

11. If I take the VEOP, when will I receive my vacation payout? 

  • VEOP Option A: paid out no later than October 15, 2021
  • VEOP Option B: paid out no later than November 15, 2020.
  • VEOP Option C: paid out no later than November 15, 2020.

Insurance Benefits

12. How long will I have active rates for my medical, dental, and vision? 

  • VEOP Options A and B: Thirty (30) months of medical, dental, and vision coverage at active rates.
  • VEOP Option C: Six (6) months of medical, dental, and vision coverage at active rates. An additional twelve (12) months of COBRA at full rates will be available beginning with the seventh month from the start of the VEOP.

RHRA (Retirement Health Reimbursement Arrangement)

13. What is the RHRA, and where can I find a list of eligible medical expenses?
The RHRA (Retiree Health Reimbursement Arrangement) is an account that eligible retirees and spouses can use for health care expenses and premiums during retirement. The RHRA is available for VEOP Options A and B for those who qualify. To find out more information about covered expenses, please click here.

Sick

14. Can I have my sick time paid out?
You are eligible to cash out your sick time in accordance with JCBA Section 26.D.5.

Miscellaneous

15. How are the VEOPs awarded?
VEOPs will be awarded in system seniority order.

16. I was awarded a VEOP, will I be involuntarily furloughed?
No. If you are awarded a VEOP, you will not be subject to involuntary furlough.

17. Will the Company contest unemployment claims?
No, the Company will not contest unemployment claims.

18. If I am awarded the VEOP, do I have to accept?
Yes.

19. What happens if American Airlines files for bankruptcy after I take a VEOP?
If American declares bankruptcy, any money you have already received is yours to keep. If American still owes you money, you become a creditor in the bankruptcy. The money American owes you is not guaranteed in the event of a bankruptcy.

Creditor claims in a bankruptcy are sorted into a ranking of priority. Wages and benefits are class four and five claims. Those are high priority claims, even before taxes, which are class six claims.

There are bankruptcies where the company went out of business and there was not enough money to pay wages and benefits (Braniff and Eastern). There are many more examples of bankruptcies where wages and benefits were paid in part or in full (American, US Airways, America West). This is particularly true where the business desires to keep operating.

20.  Am I required to pay dues on a VEOP?
If you take VEOP Option A, you will be dues obligated and dues will be deducted from your paycheck until your separation date from the company (10/1/2021).
If you take VEOP Option B or C, you will pay dues until you separate from the Company on 10/1/2020.

Extended Voluntary Leave of Absence (EVLOA) FAQs
Eligibility

1. Who is eligible to participate in an EVLOA?
Any Flight Attendant in active status as of July 15, 2020 may participate. Active status means you are a Flight Attendant on payroll receiving pay, including paid sick and vacation leave, IOD salary continuance, FMLA or a previously offered PVLOA or VLOA. In this case, it does not include those on military leave.

2.  What if I am currently on a PVLOA?
If you are currently on a PVLOA that does not expire until October 1, 2020 or after, you may elect one of the following:

a. Convert your PVLOA to an EVLOA beginning October 1, 2020, OR
b. Request to have a new EVLOA begin at the end of your current PVLOA term,

*The benefits of the PVLOA will end upon the commencement of the EVLOA (pursuant to your election).

3. What happens if I am on an EVLOA and I am subsequently furloughed?
If the involuntary furlough reaches your seniority, you will immediately be converted to an involuntary furlough status.

Pay

4. How will I be paid during my EVLOA?

Your rate of pay and the number of hours per month you are paid will not change for the duration of your EVLOA.

Vacation/Sick

5. What happens to my vacation? 
Any vacation you have not used as a result of your EVLOA will be carried over and eligible for rebidding upon your return from the EVLOA.

6. Am I able to participate in vacation buyback?
No, you are not able to participate in vacation buyback if you take an EVLOA.

7. Do I accrue sick and vacation on an EVLOA?
You do not accrue sick or vacation while on an EVLOA.

8. Can I use sick time while on an EVLOA?
No, you may not use sick time on an EVLOA.

Reserve

9. Will I serve Reserve upon my return from an EVLOA?
You will be eligible for Reserve during your first month back from an EVLOA; however, you will only be required to serve Reserve if needed based on your occupational seniority.

10. What does this mean for my rotation?
Your rotation will continue as if you were an active Flight Attendant, following the language in JCBA Section 12.A.3.

Travel

11. May I utilize my non- revenue travel privileges on an EVLOA?
Yes, all travel privileges remain the same.

12. May I use the cabin jumpseat on an EVLOA?
Yes, may utilize the cabin jumpseat.

Transfers/New Crew Base Opening

13. May I transfer bases while on an EVLOA?
No, you may not transfer during an EVLOA.

14. If a new crew base opens, may I bid for the new base?
Should a new crew base open during your EVLOA, you will have the option to bid for the new base, and, if awarded, return early from your EVLOA.

15. The EVLOA Letter of Agreement states that I will return to my base of record as of the date of expiration of the EVLOA. What does this mean? If I take an EVLOA, will I avoid any potential base displacements? 
No, if you take an EVLOA, you are not exempt or protected from being displaced. If your seniority falls within the range of required displacements at your base while you are on an EVLOA, you will follow the language in JCBA Section 22.H. to fill vacancies throughout the system.

In this case, your base of record becomes the base to which you were displaced, not your original base. Your base of record would be your base prior to the end of your EVLOA.

Training

16. Do I have to attend CQ on the EVLOA?
No.

17. What if I go QI on an EVLOA?
Closer to the end of your EVLOA, someone from the training department will contact you to assist with the next steps for training enrollment.

Miscellaneous

18. How will the EVLOAs be awarded?
The EVLOA’s will be awarded in system seniority order.

19. Do I have to accept the EVLOA if awarded?
Yes. Once awarded, you may not rescind your EVLOA request.

20. What if I have a carry-over trip?
You may be required to complete your carry over trip prior to the start of your EVLOA.

21. Do my attendance and performance points fall off if I take the EVLOA?
No, any attendance or performance points will freeze, and will remain on your record.

22. Will the Company contest unemployment claims?
No, the Company will not contest unemployment claims.

23. Will I be obligated to pay my dues to APFA during my EVLOA?
Yes, you are required to pay dues for the duration of your EVLOA.

24. Can American cancel or reduce my EVLOA?
The Company may cancel or reduce your EVLOA. You would receive 60 days- notice before returning to the line, and the opportunity to return would be offered in seniority order. If enough Flight Attendants do not elect to return early from an EVLOA, the Company will draft in reverse seniority order.

In Solidarity,

Brian Walsh
APFA National Contract Chair
contract@apfa.org

1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

Phone: (817) 540-0108
Fax: (817) 540-2077

 

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