Airline employee claims she was fired for helping coworker visit wounded husband

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Monday, July 16, 2018
Worker says she was fired for helping fellow employee visit wounded husband
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Lita Thompson says that American Airlines fired her for helping fellow employee Tepa Scanlan visit her husband that was wounded in a shooting at the Fresno County Jail.

FRESNO, Calif. -- Being with her wounded husband has been a priority for Tepa Scanlan.

The travel to hospitals in Houston and Los Angeles for her and the couple's six children was made easier by the fact she worked for American Airlines and had been eligible for some free flights.

But the free flights ended when she took medical leave.

Her co-worker, Lita Thompson, offered her personal buddy passes to help Scanlan travel to LA.

"You know it really helped her out a lot, that drive back and forth was killing her," Thompson said.

But Thompson got into trouble. It seems giving passes to employees on leave is against the airline's rules.

"Got called in by my manager and he asked if I was giving my buddy pass to anybody who was on leave and I said 'Yes, I am giving them to Tepa Scanlan,' and he pretty much had me write a statement, and that was pretty much it," Thompson said. "Three-week suspension and we will give you a call, that was it."

Then, Thompson said she was fired.

"They called me in and I was terminated," she said.

Thompson was not aware of the buddy pass sharing rule.

Scanlan is back to driving. She spends a week at a time with her husband at an LA treatment facility.

"Right now, it is a hardship driving back and forth it is tiring, exhausting, yeah," she said.

Her husband, Malama, was shot in the head in 2016 in the lobby of the Fresno County Jail. A correctional officer, he had rushed to the aid of a female officer, Juanita Davilla, who was also shot by the same gunman.

Davilla is still recovering at home. Malama will need treatment for many years to come.

Scanlan cannot comment on the airline issue. She is on medical leave, but is still employed by American Airlines.