A Texas woman who worked as a quality control manager working for Boeing says that she was fired from her job at the aircraft manufacturer after she reported to her supervisors that some planes made for military cargo shipping were not airworthy. She says that the company ordered her to violate federal safety laws and modify the documentation association with those plans so that they would be considered airworthy.
She has filed a lawsuit against the company in San Antonio, alleging that the way the company treated her was a violation of her rights under state law.
During her time at Boeing, she says she discovered safety hazards with at least four other models. In this particular instance, she was told to modify acceptance standards and the results for the specific model. When she refused, she was wrongfully terminated.
The facts alleged in this complaint are disturbing on several levels, including the fact that one of the country's largest aircraft manufacturers was potentially delivering planes that were unsafe. It is also very concerning that the corporate officers discourage and retaliate against employees who discover and report safety problems.
Federal whistleblower laws protect employees who report misconduct or illegal activity by their employers. It is illegal to fire someone who refuses to commit an illegal act or who reports matters of public safety to the appropriate authorities. In addition to having the law on their side to seek reparations from the company for lost wages and benefits and emotional distress, some whistleblowers are also given financial awards if they expose systemic misconduct that is valuable to a government investigation.
More information about whistleblower protections for Texas employees is available on our website.
Source: Courthouse News Service, "Safety Whistleblower Says Boeing Fired Her," David Lee, Dec. 3, 2012.