WSHC+B partner Eric P. Hockman spoke to ConsumerAffairs about the dilemma flight attendants are facing regarding payment structures implemented by major airlines and the complexities surrounding their labor contracts that contribute to a discrepancy between wages earned and hours worked.
“It is possible for a labor contract at an air carrier to pay employees, such as flight attendants, for all their work, including tasks performed before ‘flight time’ begins. But the contracts have not developed this way because there is no 9 to 5 schedule for flight crews and no reasonable way to create a ‘shift,’” Eric explained.
A former pilot and 12-year veteran of the airline industry, Eric elaborated stating, “Flight crews simply can’t work an 8-hour, continuous shift (except on long, overseas flights), and they don’t ‘punch a clock’… they are paid for flight hours, the same way pilots are paid, because it’s a verifiable period and easy for airlines to track.”
Eric is a commercial litigator with deep knowledge about the aviation industry. His experience working as a pilot, a certified flight instructor with instrument endorsement, a certified airframe & powerplant technician, and a heavy maintenance manager, gives him a unique perspective when practicing aviation law.