Southwest Sued Over Covid-19 Buyout by Pilot on Disability Leave

Dec. 2, 2020, 7:44 PM

A Southwest Airlines Co. pilot based in Colorado sued the company in federal court, claiming he was wrongly denied a buyout under a voluntary separation program rolled out during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lafe Dunn accuses Southwest of encouraging him to apply for a buyout while he was on short-term disability leave—and thus off the airline’s payroll—and then wrongly denying his claim by misrepresenting his employment status. This denial wasn’t based on a “fair and unbiased evaluation of the facts,” but rather a financial conflict of interest in which Southwest preferred for Dunn to be paid through his disability insurer, and ...

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