It’s been only a year since this particular airline rolled out Delta uniforms for its 64,000 employees. According to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, employees have already complained about skin rashes, headaches, fatigue and other health issues linked to these uniforms. Now, Delta flight attendants have filed a class action lawsuit against Land’s End, the uniform maker in U.S. District Court in New York. Delta has not been named a defendant in the lawsuit.
Delta Uniforms Treated with Chemicals
The two plaintiffs, flight attendants Gwyneth Gilbert and Monica DeCrescentis, say Delta uniforms have caused them much trouble. Gilbert says she experienced rashes and skin irritations, which were treated with chemicals for anti-wrinkle and stain-release properties. DeCrescentis said she has experienced adverse skin reactions, headaches and a low white blood cell count since she has been wearing the new uniforms.
The suit claims since Delta flight attendants are not unionized and are at-will employees, which means they can be let go anytime without reason, they tend to not complain about these Delta uniform issues and suffer in silence. The suit claims others wear undergarments or long underwear to protect themselves from these new uniforms. The lawsuit alleges negligence, defective design, manufacturing defect and failure to warn among other claims.
Delta has said it has gotten complaints about the uniforms but said it accounts for a very small percentage of the total number of employees who are required to wear the new outfits. Delta spent about $20 million on the new uniforms and has said it plans to offer a new “untreated uniform option,” which won’t be treated with the chemicals, for employees who can provide proper medical documentation.
Healthy Working Conditions
Under federal law, employers have a responsibility to ensure that employees have a safe and healthy environment. In this particular case, it appears that a number of employees have complained about skin issues and even adverse health effects as a result of the new chemically-treated Delta uniforms. However, it appears that the airline has not taken action and is requiring employees to provide medical records in order to receive the non-treated uniforms.
We hope this class-action lawsuit will help Delta employees secure compensation for the losses they have sustained so far and force the company to provide uniforms that are properly manufactured and designed.