Discharge of Employee for Computer Misuse Did Not Violate RLA


In a case handled by Ford & Harrison attorneys, a federal trial court recently held that an airline services company did not violate the Railway Labor Act (RLA) when it discharged an employee based on its belief the employee accessed pornography and other inappropriate content on company computers.

The plaintiff began his employment with the airline services company at its Asheville, North Carolina station and transferred to its Columbia, Missouri station in December of 2009. The plaintiff's supervisor in Columbia was the Station Manager. The plaintiff was a former member of the Steelworkers Union and discussed the union with five coworkers in Columbia. These conversations occurred outside the open door to his supervisor's office. The plaintiff did not participate in any organizing efforts other than those conversations. Neither the employer nor the plaintiff's supervisor ever communicated with the plaintiff regarding unions or union activity.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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