Alaska Air Will Attempt to Overturn $78M Lawsuit Ruling

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Alaska Air (or Alaska Air Group) seeks to overturn the $78 million lawsuit ruling. They are confident they will prevail upon appeal in the California class action lawsuit against a class of over 1,800 former flight attendants for Virgin America.

The judge ordered the company and its new owner, SeaTac-based Alaska, to pay the $78 million to cover damages and interest to the group of former flight attendants. This ruling followed three years of legal negotiation and litigation. Yet the SeaTac-based airline stated clearly in their 10K annual securities filing this past February 15, 2019 that it is confident that it will prevail upon appeal. The company is confident that the appellate court will agree with them that the claims made in the case are without factual and legal merit. No money has been set aside to cover the potential loss that would occur if they do not prevail on appeal.

The $78 million in damages was awarded by the Northern California U.S. District Court after they ruled the Virgin America and its successor Alaska Air Group Inc. (which took over in 2016) were responsible for various damages and associated penalties that the group of flight attendants sought by filing suit. The flight attendants’ legal representation argued that the airlines violated California state labor law and San Francisco city labor law when the Virgin America employees were not provided with overtime pay, meal breaks or rest periods as required by law.

The airline seeks to overturn the ruling in appellate court based on claims that the California laws on which the previous judgment was based do not apply to the situation due to the company’s status as a national airline (pursuant to the U.S. Constitution and federal law).

If you need help obtaining overtime pay that you have earned or if you are the victim of other employment law violations in the workplace, please get in touch with one of the experienced California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP.