Southwest Airlines faces $1.3 million in fines after Colorado regulators found “systemic violations” of dozens of state labor laws, including sick leave policies for workers with COVID-19.
But the Dallas-based airline, which is Denver International Airport’s second-largest carrier, is firing back through a series of newly filed legal challenges, including a federal lawsuit and a complaint in state court seeking judicial review.
Most of the alleged violations come under Colorado’s Healthy Families and Workplaces Act, which requires employers to provide paid sick leave for COVID-19 illnesses, testing and quarantining, as well as other injuries or appointments.
“(Southwest) has violated nearly every (Healthy Families and Workplaces Act) requirement and protection,” the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment wrote in a March 18 citation obtained by The Denver Post.
In Southwest’s federal lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Denver, the airline’s attorneys allege the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act “imposes a pervasive and comprehensive paid sick leave scheme on employers.”