Assignment 1

Topics: Airline, Southwest Airlines, Federal Aviation Administration Pages: 5 (730 words) Published: December 4, 2014


Whistleblowing on Southwest Airlines
Rhonda James
LEG 500 – Law, Ethics, & Corp. Governance
Strayer University
Dr. Mary Myers-Nelson
July 20, 2014

Whistleblowing on Southwest Airlines
Introduction
Many organizations have unethical problems. These organization have programs in place to help an employee report unethical behavior. Just because the organization have an ethical program, there are still unethical issues that occurs on an everyday basis. When a loyal employee comes forward to report their company unethical situations they are known as Whistleblower. “Whistleblowers ae people who decide to report unethical or illegal activities, usually activities under the control of their employer” (Halbert & Injulli, 2012) Whistleblowers are usually afraid to speak out, but when they do the environment within their organization will change dramatically. A lot of whistleblower are right to come forward, but many consequences will come their way. There are laws in place to help protects a whistleblower. The whistleblowing cases I will discuss is about the safety of Southwest Airlines. The assignment will describe the key characteristics of a whistleblower, determine if the whistleblower reporting was justifiable, and how the Sarbanes-Oxley Act protests the whistleblower. Whistleblower Summary

The airline industry continues to have its share of safety issues. Many of these issues causes the mechanic to become involve in false reports just to meet the demands of customers. The airline industry contract maintenance to other companies, but the airlines held accountable for when the contractor do not work with federal requirements. In the South West case Charlambe "Bobby" Boutris was hired to make sure Southwest airlines were abiding by all federal safety regulations. “These are rules that the FAA makes to ensure the safety of aircraft, and detail such things as regular fuselage inspections, especially for older planes” (Wang, 2013). Fuselage issues has caused many accidents in aviation due to inspectors not reporting the issues that they see during maintenance inspections. Whistleblower Justifiable

Boutris was brave to repot the unethical behavior of Southwest Airlines and their contractors. The safety concerns with minor cracks in fuselage on older planes can cause major issue later. These issues with Fuselage has caused the roofs of planes to break apart during flights. Boutris realized that Southwest failed to keep up with schedule inspections on the fuselage issues. Boutris explained to a supervisor about out dated maintenance schedules on fuselage, but was told it was not a big issue. “Inspector Boutris told the story of how he found numerous cases in which inspection records were either too mixed up to tell whether the inspections had been done, or showed definitely that planes had gone as long as 30 months past the time when ADs specified they had to be pulled out of service to be inspected”(Wang, 2013). Southwest was unethical for keeping a plane in flight knowing that maintenance reports were pass due. Southwest knows they could be fine millions of dollars for disregarding safety issues due to greed the supervisors tried to cover up Boutris complaints. Sarbanes-Oxley Act

The federal government faces challenges every day to create laws to protect whistleblowers. There are laws in place to help protect a loyal employee like Boutris for becoming a whistleblower. The OSHA program is designed to keep an eye on employers for behaving in a wrongly manner. “The Sarbanes-Oxley Act prohibits any public company from discriminating against any employee who lawfully provides information or otherwise assists in an investigation of conduct that the employee reasonable believes constitutes a violation of the federal securities laws” (Halbert & Injulli, 2012). The Sarbanes Oxley Act will help protect Boutris for blowing the whistle on Southwest Airlines for the operation of unsafe planes. Conclusion

As a...

References: Halbert, T., & Injulli, E. (2012). Law and Ethics in the Business Environment. Mason: Cengage Learning.
Wang, M. (2013, April 5). Whistleblowers Claimed the FAA Let Southwest Keep Unsafe Planes In the Air. Alternet. Retrieved July 16, 2014, from http://www.alternet.org/story/150518/whistleblowers
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