JetBlue Airways: Starting From Scratch
JetBlue Airways: Starting from Scratch
Before David Neeleman’s non-compete agreement with Southwest Airlines expired, he envisioned the concept of starting a low-fare airline that would combine common sense, innovation, and technology and bring the humanity back into air travel (Gittel & O’Reilly, 2001). In 1998, JetBlue was born. In order for David to fulfill his goal of a “do-it-right” kind of airline, he needed to recruit superior industry veterans who were willing to start from scratch and place an emphasis on employees and customers. Each of these individuals, from the President, General Counsel, CFO, and the HR director, wanted to create an airline that was fun, had integrity, was safe, and cared for their employees, plus had a passion to get it right (Gittel & O’Reilly, 2001). When JetBlue hired Ann Rhoades away from Southwest Airlines, she brought with her, her experience on how to set up the rules and regulations that JetBlue would use to manage its personnel. During JetBlue’s beginning operations, they relied upon five core values that were emblematic of the main characteristics of the company (Gittel & O’Reilly, 2001). These values included safety, caring, integrity, fun, and passion. Taking into consideration these five values, JetBlue used the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) acts to determine how, where, when, and which employees would join JetBlue as team members. In order for JetBlue to become successful, they needed to abide by the equal employment opportunity laws that formed a structured path that would enable the HR department to defend their decisions legally, if challenged. JetBlue started with high integrity standards and, to this day, continues to sustain these high standards (Gittel & O’Reilly, 2001). When hiring or dealing with personnel issues, some of the EEO acts that JetBlue references on a daily basis include the following: the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the 1972 amendment to that act, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, amended in 1978 and 1986, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, the Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2004, and the Occupational Safety & Health Act of 1970, amended January 1, 2004 (Gittel & O’Reilly, 2001). JetBlue’s main priority is the safety of its passengers and employees. In order for JetBlue to provide safety for all of its employees, they referenced the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA, 2001) guidelines for general duty that specifically state that the employer needs to provide a safe and healthy environment for the employees to work, free from loud noises, hazards, falling and sharp objects, and containing breathable air. These are a few areas of concern for JetBlue that relate to the well-being of their employees. In addition to the noted areas, their mechanics, ground crew and pilots have received continuous training on wearing ear protection when on the tarmac at the airport. This training also provides for the ground crew to place chocks under the wheels, florescent cones for the perimeters around the plane and information on other safety gear to prevent accidents. The ground crew needs to be able to read, write and be fluent in English in order to process all safety information regarding their jobs and other areas and peers who work for JetBlue. Mechanics also have strict safety guidelines that they need to adhere to when providing maintenance to the aircraft. The most important guideline is to ground the airplane, so no static electricity will build up and discharge, causing an...
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Gittell, J.H., & O’Reilly, C. (2001). JetBlue airways: starting from
scratch [PDF]. Retrieved from http://people.westminstercollege.edu/faculty/mkoerner/00_courses/mba_650_spr_06/jetblue_airways_starting_from_scratch.pdf
Occupation Safety and Health Administration. (2001). OSH Act of 1970.
Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owasrch.search_form?p_doc_type=OSHACT&p_toc_level=0
Federal Aviation Administration. (2007). FAA Fair Treatment for Experienced Pilots
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