Can my airline fire me for an injury?


Well-Known Member
I dislocated my shoulder saturday playing basketball. Doctor said today that I will most likely need surgery. Recovery time is 6-8 weeks. I'm worried that my non union airline will let me go if I'm out 2-3 months. Can this happen?

The medical portion of my question is should i get the surgery? Doc said if I don' t 90% chance it will happen again either in my sleep or putting on a shirt. Obviously i need surgery. MRI is scheduled for tomorrow.

Ohh vay!


Well-Known Member
Call your ALPA rep.

*edit* This was seriously not a jab at your airline, I just didn't read your post carefully.

Call HR. I've never been in management at an airline, but in another industry FMLA paperwork was the first thing we sent to employees in your situation. Once submitted it is illegal to punish an employee on FMLA for, well just about anything at all. I always enjoyed "FMLA monday", where every employee on FMLA would show up at noon, and there wasn't a damn thing anyone could do about it.


Well-Known Member
In most places lacking a union, you can get fired for no reason at all. Work at will and all that.


New Member
SkyWest has been pretty good about that sort of thing, as I understand. I know a dude who blew out his knee skiing a few years ago, they put him to work teaching newhire classes while his knee healed.

They'll probably fire a union-organizing rabble rouser like you, tho. ;)


Malko In Charge
Staff member
In most places lacking a union, you can get fired for no reason at all. Work at will and all that.
Not if he has FMLA papers on file. There is absolutely nothing at all that you can do.

I am not sure how the airline handles it, but in my company the employees are required to have approx 1250 compensated hours in order to even be eligible for FMLA. I wonder how the pilots hours are viewd to mee the FMLA req's.


Well-Known Member
talked with our sapa president and he said TAFB counts towards the 1250 hours. looks like FMLA is 1st stop.


Well-Known Member
1. Get the surgery! Shoulder dislocations are incredibly common in whitewater sports (I used to be an instructor) and my friends who popped one out almost always had to get cut. Otherwise their shoulders tended to come out at really inopportune times. I doubt you'd want to have it dislocate throwing your bag on a plane in Winnipeg in the middle of the winter.

2. I know a few people who have been out similar lengths of time and not had an issue at SKW, so I wouldn't worry about it.


Well-Known Member
I had a dislocated shoulder go into multi-directional instability. If any of the stuff about recovering from a 'simple' dislocation corrective surgery seems bad, image not being able to fly for a few years, followed by a slow recovery where it might be five or more years before you even want to fly again.

Get the corrective surgery while you are still strong, not after years of suffering and weakening.