JetBlue Sued for Workplace Violations and Will Blockchain Tech Change Loyalty Programs?

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • New York City’s Consumer Affairs Department is suing JetBlue for failure to file the jurisdiction’s paid sick leave act.

    The Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings case filed against JetBlue says the company routinely penalized workers for calling in sick and used progressive punishments that could result in termination.

    JetBlue is also accused of failing to properly award sick-leave days to workers and retaliating against employees who got ill and needed to stay at home. The company also failed to provide employees with a copy of their rights under the law, Consumer Affairs said.

    My non-expert assumption here is that New York City labor rules (in this case for “six flight attendants, two members of the ground crew and one customer service worker”) would be pre-empted by the federal Airline Deregulation Act.

  • Harvard Business Review: “Blockchain Will Transform Customer Loyalty Programs” there are a number of unstated assumptions here, blockchains are a mechanism of verifying data simultaneously in multiple places and so creating a form of trust.

    Blockchain technology can serve as a replacement for a central clearinghouse. And blockchain technology certainly makes sense as a source of disruption in a variety of settings, such as validating contracts. But you have to think that currencies will become exchangeable and that transaction costs are a key problem to overcome (e.g. that takes too big a cut). Otherwise there’s not a lot of there there to the prediction.

  • A pilot for Mandarin Airlines, a subsidiary of China Airlines, has been fired for failing an alcohol test when he was scheduled to fly on Tuesday. The airline will now “carry out alcohol tests on all pilots.” (HT: René S)

  • Sam’s Club is offering American AAdvantage miles to new members

  • The annual 50 Best Restaurants list is out and New York’s Eleven Madison Park tops the list. While dining at El Bulli when it was in the top spot was amazing, most of the places on the list are merely nice or very good and there are other comparable restaurants that don’t get highlighted. I’ve had fantastic meals at places like Nahm, Amber, and Le Bernardin but other equally great meals elsewhere.

  • The attack on our civil liberties by TSA, ICE and other government agencies has got to stop

  • A new bill – that won’t pass – has been introduced in the House and Senate to ban laptop and phone searches at the border without a warrant. (HT: S.) The Republican sponsor in the House was a former regulator poster on Flyertalk.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Jetblue will likely raise the Railway Labor Act as part of a preemption defense. Re the Airline Deregulation Act, it’s not a slam dunk claim. In 2015, the 11th Circuit held that it did not preempt Miami Dades living wage ordinance in a challenge by a cargo airline. The WA supreme court ruled similarly in a challenge to SeaTac’s living wage ordinance.

  2. Way to go Washington Post! The fact that so many people abused by these TSA and ICE agents are afraid to report it because of fear of retribution is exactly characteristic of a police state seeking to induce fear in its citizens. I am not saying the U.S. is a police state yet, just that our liberties are eroding fast. I got the overly intimate search recently, despite PreCheck, apparently just because I used a US Passport instead of a driver’s license as my ID on a domestic flight at the TSA security checkpoint. (The guy right ahead of me also used a passport and also got the abusive search, and these searches came just after one agent yelled to the other, “Two USP”.)

    Thanks Gary for continuing to draw these abuses to people’s attention. Congress won’t stand up and take this seriously unless enough people do speak up, and I hope the courts have what it takes to declare unconstitutional these abuses that the Bill of Rights prohibits.

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