Thursday, February 23, 2023
NY State Assembly Bill A8092B
On November 21, 2022, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law Assembly Bill A8092B, which took effect on February 19, 2023. Assembly Bill A8092B amends Section 215 of the New York Labor Law (NYLL) and clarifies that workers in New York State shall not be punished or subjected to discipline by employers for utilizing protected time off under local, state or federal law, such as FMLA. Since this bill was signed, I have worked closely with APFA’s Legal Department and ensured that APFA National Headquarters were fully abreast of the developments and protections this law provides flight attendants in New York and possibly across the system. Over the past few months, numerous communications and discussions have occurred with American Airlines to confirm their intent to comply with the law and to request clarification of their position on adhering to the law, as it is clearly defined.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continued, American Airlines focused more and more on terminations. Flight Attendants have had their careers scraped off their grip by an erratic and irresponsible attendance policy that was arbitrated and continues to mimic a totalitarian regime. Today, it is unfortunate that I must share with you all that American, notwithstanding the enactment of this new law, has not modified the existing attendance policy to be in compliance with the law , nor has it agreed to stop its existing practice of issuing LC points to Flight Attendants who take legally-protected time off , such as an approved FMLA absence.
Despite American’s defiant position on this matter, APFA maintains that these actions by American are prohibited by law and will not be tolerated in New York. Please stay tuned for a call to action as we are actively researching and exploring our legal and contractual options to advocate for our Flight Attendants and ensure that no Flight Attendant in New York is illegally denied the protections and rights that they are entitled to under the law.
In the meantime, if you are retaliated against by being issued any penalty, including an LC point, after you have submitted and have recoded an absence with FMLA or any other protected absence, please contact Penelope or me immediately. I will be filing a Base NOD on this matter and individual NODs for any affected Flight Attendant that contacts us, but I am also working closely with APFA’s Legal Department and National Headquarters to explore all options for further legal recourse. Make no mistake, we stand behind you, we stand with you, and we fully intend on standing up for you.
Please fly safe and stay New York Strong.
Christian M. Santana
APFA LGA Base President
PROUD to represent New York-LGA