Airline argues right to make employees prove illnesses

Southwest Airlines is defending its right to make its employees prove that they are sick when they take off from work during emergencies, the Dallas Morning News reports.

The airline made the argument during legal proceedings in lawsuit that was filed by union workers at Chicago’s Midway International Airport, according to the report.

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Southwest said it declared an emergency and required employees to prove their illnesses, because it believed workers were taking days off to protest labor negotiations.

“While Southwest cannot definitively identify the reason for the increased sick calls among ramp service employees in Midway at this time, it was widely perceived to be a coordinated job action to protest the slow progress in collective bargaining that had been ongoing since 2011,” the airline said in a legal filing, according to the paper.

The lawsuit was filled in the U.S. District Court of Dallas by the Transport Workers Union Local 555.