Bloomberg Law
Jan. 14, 2021, 9:59 PM

Virgin Air Attendants’ $83 Million Wage Award Meets Skepticism

Kathleen Dailey
Kathleen Dailey
Legal Reporter

Virgin America and Alaska Airlines, backed by the Justice Department, appeared to get traction Thursday with their argument before the Ninth Circuit that it should reverse an $83 million judgment awarded to more than 1,400 flight attendants for California wage and breaks violations.

Judges Milan D. Smith and J. Clifford Wallace primarily focused during oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on whether federal aviation law preempts the state’s break rules.

Shay Dvoretzky, an attorney representing the airlines, and the DOJ’s Jennifer Utrecht both argued it did, citing the Airline Deregulation Act, which prohibits ...