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Former WestJet pilot sues over bomb threat allegations

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1 minute ago, Longranger said:

What you are referring to here has absolutely nothing to do with what really went on in this particular situation , and once it all comes out it will be very clear as to what transpired, and is nothing like what the media is reporting.

OK.  I sure don't know what happened and I should know from past experience that media reports are less than accurate (to put it politely).  However from the article above; Kippen was told to attend a mandatory meeting to discuss some issues, he said he couldn't come to the meeting because of a mental health issue and so the company fired him.  Is that a correct account of what happened?  You say it's not.  Fair enough because that story seems to show a culture of eliminating employees without due process especially in the context of Saretsky's comments suggesting to make things uncomfortable for those who don't fit in.

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25 minutes ago, dr1 said:

All of which has absolutely nothing to do with the topic of this thread or my post. Unless of course you're trying to promote the fantasy that this individual was fired for not buying into the culture.

See my reply to Longranger on this point.

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13 hours ago, seeker said:

OK.  I sure don't know what happened and I should know from past experience that media reports are less than accurate (to put it politely).  However from the article above; Kippen was told to attend a mandatory meeting to discuss some issues, he said he couldn't come to the meeting because of a mental health issue and so the company fired him.  Is that a correct account of what happened?  You say it's not.  Fair enough because that story seems to show a culture of eliminating employees without due process especially in the context of Saretsky's comments suggesting to make things uncomfortable for those who don't fit in.

Did you read WJA's response? He was not providing or complying with requests by WJA to provide a note. 

 

  1. On or about May 21, 2015, Pobran spoke to the Plaintiff by telephone. He informed the Plaintiff that the Plaintiff was required to attend a meeting to discuss allegations that had been made against him by three other pilots. Pobran and the Plaintiff discussed May 27, 2015 as the date for the meeting.

  2. On or about May 21, 2015, WestJet learned that the Plaintiff informed Desjardins that he was afraid that he was going to be terminated at a meeting with WestJet management on May 27, 2015 and hoped to have a decision on his LTD appeal before this date. Desjardins told the Plaintiff that this was not likely.

  3. Pobran was unsuccessful in confirming a date for an investigation meeting with the Plaintiff.

  4. On or about May 25, 2015, Pobran wrote a letter to the Plaintiff stating that WestJet required a meeting with him as soon as possible. Pobran required that the Plaintiff contact him by June 1, 2015 to advise him of his intention to schedule a meeting within a week of that date. Pobran warned that if the Plaintiff failed to contact him, then WestJet would consider the Plaintiff to have abandoned his employment. The letter was delivered to the Plaintiff on or about May 26, 2015.

  1. The Plaintiff responded to Pobran's letter by email on or about June 1, 2015 and stated that he had doctors' appointments and consultations every day that week, but would be free on June 9, 2015. The Plaintiff did not inform Pobran that he was unable to fly or attend a meeting due to a medical condition.

  2. On or about June 1, 2015, Pobran directed the Plaintiff to change one or more of his appointments so that he could attend a meeting with him that week (June 1, 2015- June 5, 2015). In response, the Plaintiff agreed to attend on June 3, 2015. However, the Plaintiff then failed to attend that meeting, and did so without any valid excuse or justification.

  3. On or about June 5, 2015, a meeting between Pobran and the Plaintiff was scheduled for June 9, 2015. The Plaintiff was scheduled to fly to Calgary for that meeting on June 8, 2015.

  4. On June 8, 2015, Pobran received an email from Deveaux stating that he had received a text message from the Plaintiff stating that the Plaintiff was medically unfit to travel to Calgary for his meeting. Deveaux stated that he informed the Plaintiff that he required a medical note in support of his absence as soon as possible.

  5. On June 9, 2015, Pobran received a picture of a medical document that stated that the Plaintiff was seen in the emergency room of a hospital in London, Ontario for medical reasons on June 8, 2015.

  6. Pobran understood that the Plaintiff was released from the emergency room of the London, Ontario hospital on June 8, 2015.

  7. On or about June 10, 2015, Pobran attempted to contact the Plaintiff, but his voicemail was full. He also sent a text to the Plaintiff requesting documentation of his hospital visit.

  1. On or about June 11, 2015, Pobran wrote to the Plaintiff by email and requested that the Plaintiff send to WestJet's Health and Well ness unit the discharge report from the hospital, his restrictions and his timeframe for recovery. Pobran requested that the information be sent by June 12, 2015.

  2. WestJet did not receive any of the medical documentation required of the Plaintiff by June 12, 2015, as instructed.

  3. On or about June 16, 2015, lan Fraser, WestJet's then Director of Flight Standards, wrote to the Plaintiff concerning the attempts to schedule a meeting to discuss the allegations of theft, fraud and conduct contrary to the Code of Business Conduct.

  4. The letter informed the Plaintiff that it was mandatory that he report for a meeting with WestJet on Friday June 26, 2015, and that his employment would be terminated for abandonment if he failed to attend. The letter was delivered to the Plaintiff on or about June 17, 2015.

  5. On or about June 18, 2015, Candace Zuccarini ("Zuccarini"}, a Manager of Health and
    Well
    ness at WestJet, emailed the Plaintiff and informed him that WestJet required his discharge report from the hospital, his current restrictions and his timeframe for recovery.

  6. On or about June 18, 2015, Zuccarini and Hartman telephoned the Plaintiff at Deveaux's request.

  7. Zuccarini asked whether the Plaintiff would be submitting the information requested by Pobran. The Plaintiff responded that his lawyer advised against him doing so.

  8. The Plaintiff agreed to send the medical information to Dr. Fryatt, WestJet's medical director. Zuccarini restated the medical information required by WestJet. Namely, that it needed a detailed discharge report from the hospital visit, the Plaintiff's current medical restrictions and his medical prognosis.

  1. On or about June 19, 2015, the Plaintiff submitted a number of medical documents to Zuccarini, Deveaux, as well as a number of members of WestJet's Pilot Assistance Team. The forms did not contain any of the information requested by Pobran and Zuccarini.

  2. Between June 19, 2015 and June 26, 2015, the Plaintiff did not submit any further medical information to WestJet or contact anyone from WestJet concerning the requested medical information

The Plaintiff did not attend the mandatory meeting with WestJet scheduled for June 26, 2015. Nor did WestJet receive any documentation or correspondence stating that the Plaintiff was unable to attend.

WestJet thus concluded that the Plaintiff had abandoned, or alternatively, repudiated, his employment.

Further, WestJet concluded that it had just cause to terminate the Plaintiff's employment because: the Plaintiff was insubordinate in disobeying WestJet's direction to attend the meeting after failing or refusing to attend the previously scheduled meetings without justification; and, because, based on the information that it had collected in the course of its investigation into the Plaintiff's conduct, WestJet concluded that the Plaintiff had breached WestJet's Anti-Fraud Policy and Code of Business Conduct.

lOO.In addition, WestJet concluded that the Plaintiff had damaged WestJet's reputation by using his standing as a WestJet pilot to gain the trust of Cooper and then engaging in the conduct detailed above. In addition, the Plaintiff, by obtaining monies from his fellow WestJet pilots, Woolfrey, Hollands and Ysselmuiden and not repaying them as described above, irreparably harmed his working relationships with those pilots and prejudiced WestJet's interests by rendering it impossible for those pilots to trust him or to work safely or effectively with him in the future.

101. The Plaintiff's employment at WestJet was terminated on or about June 26, 2015.

102. WestJet notified the Plaintiff of his dismissal by way of letter dated on or about June 29, 2015 ("Termination Letter"), which described the Plaintiff as being dismissed for abandonment, insubordination and as a result of his conduct contrary to the Anti-Fraud Policy and Code of Business Conduct.

103.1n the Termination Letter, WestJet required immediate return of his WestJet identification card, and Restricted Area Identity Card, which permits access to the restricted area of the airport. To date, the Plaintiff has not complied with this requirement.

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My apologies to the Westjetters here.  Somehow I missed the link to the full WJA response to the filed claim - much clearer now.  I'll just leave my posts to maintain the continuity of the thread but it appears that I was wrong in my belief that Westjet acted hastily and without giving the employee due process.

 

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The interesting observation here is that it is pretty hard to get fired as a pilot after you have worked for years.   If on the other hand you don't follow the advice of your pilot association, association lawyer, Doctor, Insurance company, and management and then are surprised when you get fired, well should that be a surprise?  

 

 

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3 hours ago, Longranger said:

The interesting observation here is that it is pretty hard to get fired as a pilot after you have worked for years.   If on the other hand you don't follow the advice of your pilot association, association lawyer, Doctor, Insurance company, and management and then are surprised when you get fired, well should that be a surprise?  

The real "interesting observation" here is that you posting here on this topic is a clear conflict of interest.

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Question: Why would an employer ever be in possession of someone's Av Docs (license/medical)?  Along those lines, why would  any TC medical information be mailed to WJ as opposed to the pilot?  My company gets scanned copies of my documents, but that's all.  My license stays with me and I would never let anyone else have it.

Item #58 & #65 in the plaintiff's claim are my reference point.  I'm a bit unclear on this (unless the OPP seized the document and gave it to WJ along with the company ID etc?  And if that's the case it should have been immediately returned to him.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Canoehead said:

Question: Why would an employer ever be in possession of someone's Av Docs (license/medical)?  Along those lines, why would  any TC medical information be mailed to WJ as opposed to the pilot?  My company gets scanned copies of my documents, but that's all.  My license stays with me and I would never let anyone else have it.

Item #58 & #65 in the plaintiff's claim are my reference point.  I'm a bit unclear on this (unless the OPP seized the document and gave it to WJ along with the company ID etc?  And if that's the case it should have been immediately returned to him.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canoehead,

At WestJet, the address on your "aviation stickers" is 22 Aerial Pl...WJA HQ. The sticker is sent to pilot training, opened, photocopied and then the original is put in your mailslot. 

Thats why WJA would/could have had his aviation docs.

Cheers,

SMP

 

 

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I understand why companies want it that way, but when I was at TC, I opined that addressing pilot licence and medical documents to the employer was a violation of our own federal privacy rules. I've never worked in a place where that was done. It was a requirement that we provide a photocopy of them to the folks in crew records and overall it worked just fine. Anyone who refuses to provide a copy prior to their expiry date should find themselves removed from their next pairing. That has a way of enforcing compliance.

Edited by J.O.

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Same with AME licence at Air Canada.  We provided the records people with a photocopy, or we were not allowed to sign for work on the aircraft.

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That license belongs to you, as do all of the records and correspondence that go along with it.  Same with the Pilots and anyone else.  They should be addressed to the Holder not the employer.  

Yes the data needs to be provided to your employer in so far as "yes it is valid and current"

 

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10 minutes ago, CanadaEH said:

Didn't a westjet pilot provide a fake license way back when? Maybe that has something to do with it?

I remember stories of a Wardair pilot that did similar...

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I think every airline has a similar story.  I work with an engineer that was also a flight engineer.  he was quite surprised to see his number in the logbook of an aircraft he had never operated.  Further investigation revealed the flight engineer had been flying under his license and was unlicensed himself and even acted at a trainer for new entrant flight engineers.

I am not sure we ever saw that guy after that.

 

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I had a guy who was on medical leave for a long time, I phoned the RMO asking when he could come back to work if ever and he replied "he has no restrictions on his license, he can go back anytime". That ended his medical leave real quick, he retired the next week.

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3 hours ago, CanadaEH said:

Didn't a westjet pilot provide a fake license way back when? Maybe that has something to do with it?

Yes.  Son of a day one pilot who eventually left for Enerjet. Son worked the ramp in YYC.

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4 hours ago, CanadaEH said:

Didn't a westjet pilot provide a fake license way back when? Maybe that has something to do with it?

That has nothing to do with it. Westjet was getting everything mailed to them long before that event. Every piece of TC Mail goes through the company. 

Can't have pilots having control of anything.

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I can recall a new chief training pilot doing the same thing to make the system more efficient. It was a violation of personal privacy of course and didn't last more than a week.

The air carrier could easily keep TC current as to the names of licence holders on the corporate payroll. Computers could be used to rationalize and verify validity dates without all the unnecessary paper record keeping. How tough could that kind of system be to implement in the modern world?

Besides being a pain in the butt approach to record keeping, passing around photocopies of personal licences and the like creates a weak point in the security net.

 

 

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11 hours ago, conehead said:

I remember stories of a Wardair pilot that did similar...

I flew with that fellow the day before he was "forced" to retire. 

He never held a valid ATR. 

Before he joined WD he renewed his PPL and when he got the PPL back he was mistakenly rated as ATR qualified. He knew he was not rated but passed the paper on to WD and was accepted as a 'driver'. I think he flew a few years with no ATR ticket but the facts caught up with him and he was let go.

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10 hours ago, Kip Powick said:

I flew with that fellow the day before he was "forced" to retire. 

He never held a valid ATR. 

Before he joined WD he renewed his PPL and when he got the PPL back he was mistakenly rated as ATR qualified. He knew he was not rated but passed the paper on to WD and was accepted as a 'driver'. I think he flew a few years with no ATR ticket but the facts caught up with him and he was let go.

Talk about taking advantage of circumstances... :)

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I know a "guy" who had a regular driver's license with a Learners Permit for motorcycles.  When he moved to a different province he found that his new license showed both class 5 and class M - he didn't mention anything about it!

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56 minutes ago, seeker said:

I know a "guy" who had a regular driver's license with a Learners Permit for motorcycles.  When he moved to a different province he found that his new license showed both class 5 and class M - he didn't mention anything about it!

You talking about me? :-)

My original <= 250cc license became a full license when I moved to Alberta. The fellow at the desk asked me if the code on my OOP license meant motorcycle, which it did, and so he gave me a full license to ride with no restrictions. Haven't ridden since, so I'll take the course again should I once again decide to ride, but it was funny at the time. I could have said it was my 18 wheel license and he  would have given me that.

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At my employer we have the option of home address or flight ops address on our TC docs. The libertarian in me says I should take delivery of my correspondence from TC at home and provide copies when required. The pragmatist acknowledges that my employer is right now the only place I use my ATPL (and they have contractual ROFR on all additional flying for hire I might want to do) and if I can take one more nuisance task off my plate then why not? Pragmatism wins.

 

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Zan Vetter;

 

Yup, same for me - lazy wins.

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18 hours ago, DEFCON said:

Besides being a pain in the butt approach to record keeping, passing around photocopies of personal licences and the like creates a weak point in the security net.

Actually I can take a picture of any documents the company requires with my iPhone and email it to crew records. No paper involved, and is more secure for me because I still hold the original document and I have an 'electronic receipt' of sorts.  I'm really kinda surprised that folks would be comfortable letting someone else open their own important mail.

Can WJA pilots do work for other operators?

 

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