Charter airline’s suit over war zone hazard pay gets class-action status
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on January 13, 2010
Class-action status has been granted in a lawsuit claiming crew members of a North Las Vegas charter airline didn’t receive extra hazard pay for flying dangerous missions into Iraq and Afghanistan.
U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt last week approved the notice of the class-action to be published and to be sent to Vision Airlines Inc. employees who were crew members on flights to or from Iraq or Afghanistan from May 1, 2005, to the present.
The notice summarizes the allegations in the case, notes Vision has denied the allegations and says affected current and former employees need to do nothing, unless they want to opt out of the lawsuit.
Class-action certification represents a victory for former Vision pilot Gerald Hester and other plaintiffs, who allege Vision as a U.S. government contractor collected $21 million in hazard pay on behalf of at least 300 employees who operated the “Air Bridge Program” into war zones — but didn’t turn over all of the funds to the employees and kept some of the extra money for itself.
The suit asserted the hazard pay due to charter crews flying to and from Iraq is $2,500 for each captain, first officer and international relief officer for each take-off and landing. Other crew members such as flight attendants and mechanics are to receive $1,500 each for each take-off and landing, the lawsuit says.
The Air Bridge is a system in which military and civilian government personnel and contractors are flown in and out of the war zones. Full Story here