We are pleased to announce that Dallas/Ft. Worth news station KDAF-TV interviewed firm partner Casey Erick on May 4, 2012. The interview focused on whether or not a Texas employee has the right to criticize his or her employer in a public forum. The interview can be seen here. The news story has also been transcribed below:
American Airlines Mechanic Posts YouTube Rant
Dennis Barnett Attacked Airline Management, Union Leaders, Defended Coworkers
CW 33 News
9:33 PM CDT, May 4, 2012
The American Airlines bankruptcy appears to be taking its toll on some AA employees, as one mechanic went on a nearly 17 minute rant that was then posted on YouTube.
From the video, it was clear that Dennis Barnett loved air travel, airplanes and the airline industry. He said in the video his father was an airplane mechanic and he said Barnett had worked on airplanes for much of his life.
But his passion for the airline industry has turned into anger.
“This was the fifth largest airline in the world in operating revenues and available seat miles, and you’ve managed to run it and its fleet of aircraft into the [expletive] ground. How [expletive] dare you,” said Barnett.
Barnett, who wore his uniform in the YouTube clip, read a letter that attacked airline management.
“We need leaders in management, not [expletive] who don’t have a [expletive] [expletive] clue in what it takes to run an airline,” he said.
He also went after the unions.
“Our unions are just as much at fault. Jim Little, shut your [expletive] mouth,” said Barnett.
Barnett defended his coworkers, the men and women he said are on the front lines everyday.
“You are taking advantage of us, the employees of this [expletive] [expletive] airline, how [expletive] dare you, you low life mother [expletive],” Barnett said in the YouTube clip.
American Airlines issued a statement about Barnett’s video, which read, “We are aware of the video and the employee has been withheld from service with pay pending further discussion with him.”
Dallas based employment attorney Casey Erick said posting angry comments online could cost Barnett his job, and he probably wouldn’t have a legal leg to stand on to fight the firing.
“Merely griping and complaining about your boss is not protected And I think people would be surprised how many cases actually fall on the side of the employer,” Erick told CW 33 News.
Erick said in cases where online comments by employees were protected was when it was done with the authority of other employees, or the person was speaking on behalf of fellow employees.