Flight attendants at American, Delta and Alaska Airlines have all registered complaints about toxic materials in their assigned work uniforms. Now, flight attendants at Southwest Airlines are joining the list.
Hundreds of Southwest flight attendants have reportedly leveled complaints about their uniforms to their union representatives. The issue began in 2016 when American Airlines’ attendants reported that their new uniforms (issued in a partnership with Men’s Warehouse) were leading to hives, rashes, hair loss, breathing problems and other complications. After the complaints, American Airlines replaced the uniforms with a new line made in partnership with Land’s End. Alaska Airlines, too, was forced into a redesign after employee complaints.
Delta Airlines, meanwhile, is reported to be mulling a uniform redesign after a lawsuit was filed claiming the materials were unsafe.
Southwest, meanwhile, rolled out new uniforms in 2016. It was the first redesign of their uniforms in roughly two decades. While Southwest maintains that independent labs have analyzed the uniforms and verified they are non-toxic, employees object that they still have not been informed as to the precise materials and chemicals used in the creation of the uniforms.
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So What Could Be Causing These Issues?
Uniform manufacturers have been tasked with making clothes that are inexpensive and easy to care for, allowing them to be worn and laundered with minimal complications. Representatives from the Association of Flight Attendants have pointed out that there is no governing standard for how uniforms are made in the United States.
So could these clothes contain toxic materials in an effort to lower costs and improve material performance?
While the airlines have repeatedly said that toxic materials in uniforms are under recognized safety limits, anecdotal reports from flight staff paint a different picture. In the absence of transparency, many flight attendants may continue to choose to seek legal remedies to this issue.
Finding the Right Attorney
If you have an issue with a toxic work garment and believe you have suffered an injury, it’s essential to find experienced representation. L&B Law Group can help. Contact us today for a fast consultation.