United Airlines Settles Lawsuit with Baggage Handlers
United Airlines has settled a Newark lawsuit with baggage handlers, after the baggage handlers sued for stressful working conditions.
The Associated Press reports:
United Airlines has reached a settlement in a lawsuit over the working conditions for baggage handlers, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Tuesday.
The lawsuit was filed after inspectors found baggage handlers at Newark Liberty International Airport often were forced to lift heavy bags or perform other functions while leaning over, twisting or reaching overhead.
The Labor Department said United baggage handlers reported more than 600 musculoskeletal injuries between 2011 and early 2015.
Inspectors found that employees had to repeatedly bend over vertical posts to reach items on conveyor belts, manually load and unload gate-checked bags at passenger jet bridges and spend prolonged periods loading and unloading baggage in confined areas of planes’ cargo bays.
As part of the settlement, United agreed to install conveyor belts on jet bridges. The airline also will retain an expert on repetitive stress injuries to evaluate injury risks, and will adopt the expert’s recommendations.
The settlement requires United Airlines to complete a professional evaluation of the working conditions and two years to complete the required changes, which include the conveyor belts on jet bridges.
Reuters reported that United Airlines will also be required to pay a $7,000 civil penalty, a small drop in the bucket for an airline as large as United Airlines, who saw profits of $965 million in quarter 3 of 2016.