Alaska Airlines flight attendants file class action relating to defective uniforms

Posted on: December 4th, 2012 by Steve Larson

A class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Alaska Airlines flight attendants who have experienced numerous health problems as a result of wearing their uniform.  Last year, the airline issued new uniforms to its flight attendants. The new uniforms were manufactured by Twin Hill (a division of Men’s Wearhouse), and have been found to contain Disperse Orange 37/76, which is a dye that has been banned from use in apparel products, because Disperse Orange 37/76 is a known skin and respiratory irritant.

The complaint alleges that almost immediately after the new Twin Hill uniforms were issued to the flight attendants, they began to experience skin symptoms — rash, hives, redness, or itching. A growing number of attendants are also reporting abnormal thyroid functions, hair loss, eye irritation/inflammation, fatigue, shortness of breath, congestion, coughing and asthma.

According to the complaint, more than 400 flight attendants have reported significant health issues while wearing the new uniforms to their union, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (“AFA”). Even though affected attendants have been permitted to wear their old uniform or even civilian clothing, the complaint alleges they are still experiencing the same health issues, because they work in obviously close quarters with other flight attendants wearing the new uniform containing Disperse Orange 37/76. For this reason, the class action complaint filed in United States District Court, Central District of California, seeks to compel a total recall of the new uniforms. The AFA has also demanded a recall.