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AirTran must reinstate pilot who reported problems

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ordered AirTran Airways to reinstate a former pilot who was fired after reporting mechanical problems.

OSHA officials say the airline violated whistleblower protection laws when it terminated the pilot after a sudden spike in the number of his reports detailing mechanical failures.

The agency also is requiring the airline to pay more than $1 million to the pilot in back wages, plus interest and compensatory damages.

A company spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

AirTran is a subsidiary of Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co.

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