Aches on a plane

Alaska Airlines and their friends aren’t happy about workers getting to take sick time when they’re sick.

It’s been a little over a month since paid sick time for all hourly workers went into effect in Washington. Workers across the state are seeing paid sick time on their paystubs for the first time.

And on Tuesday, the Air Transport Association of America, the lobby group for Alaska & other major airlines, filed a lawsuit against Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries to try to get out of giving flight attendants and pilots six and a half sick days per year.

Their argument? For one, it’s just too hard for huge corporations that manage international air travel logistics to deal with the “burden” of letting their flight crew take sick time when they’re sick.

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Here’s what we had to say about that:

If you’re experiencing deja vu, it’s probably because they pulled the same thing four years ago. When SeaTac workers won $15 in 2013, Alaska & other businesses immediately sued the city, claiming that they should be exempt from following the law. They lost. And appealed. And lost again.

And now they’re up to their old tricks again. But companies like Alaska have to follow the law — even if they think it’s a “burden.” So we called them out:

These corporations think they’re above the law for some reason. But they have to give their workers sick time, just like they have to pay the minimum wage, no matter how much they gripe about it. So we’re going to keep up our efforts to make sure every employer in Washington state is following the law and providing workers with the sick time they’re owed.

If you’re an hourly worker in Washington state, take our “sick time checkup” to make sure your employer is following the law (lawsuit or not).

And if you want to help us reach as many people as possible to enforce sick days for workers across the state, consider making a contribution to Working Washington.

We’re not going to wait on standby. We’re going to make sure sick days arrive, and keep right on winning huge victories for workers’ rights — and making sure corporations can’t undermine them by refusing to follow the law.