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View Diary: Engineer on 787 electrical system fired for pointing out flaws (86 comments)

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  •  Thank you. Very clear summary of the whole thing. (28+ / 0-)

    Apparently Boeing and Airbus try to get components from as many countries as possible to boost sales.  

    Like US defense contractors trying to be in as many congressional districts as possible.

    •  Actually, the title's misleading. Read the link. (6+ / 0-)

      Although the judge, while found that the employee (an engineering tech, not an engineer - calling him one is like calling a med tech a doctor) did engage in protected activity by pointing out what he perceived to be defects in the battery charger design, the firm nonetheless fired him legally for being an abrasive asshole.  Apparently he had an attitude problem.  

      Whether the design was indeed flawed, let alone whether it contributed to the recent battery pack fire, was not part of what the judge ruled on, nor was it within his purview.

      This diary, in fact, is very misleading.  Should be taken down or seriously edited.

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

      by nailbender on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 08:10:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who else would insist on reporting this? (10+ / 0-)

        The very definition of an abrasive asshole is someone who tells management what they don't want to hear.

        •  Read the cited source (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          northsylvania, DRo
          The ALJ concluded: “Leon wasn’t a whistleblower who got worked up about his complaint and was understandably upset over his employer’s reactions. He was someone who disrupted the workplace; made a significant number of his coworkers, Securaplane managers, and customers uncomfortable; and refused to change his behavior. The evidence clearly and convincingly shows … Securaplane was motivated by Leon’s behavior, not his protected activity.”

          We must drive the special interests out of politics.… There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will neither be a short not an easy task, but it can be done. -- Teddy Roosevelt

          by NoMoJoe on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 10:39:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Speaking as someone (4+ / 0-)

          married to an engineer, who learned his lesson about 'being abrasive' about design concerns, being removed, gently or otherwise, can be a very real outcome. However, one would have to know a little more about the background of this particular case. Was the tech in question borderline Aspergers or OCD, or just fanatic about accuracy? Was he just an asshole in other ways? What were his specific criticisms? Did they pertain to the battery charger in particular, or other electrical components?
          Unfortunately, many engineers go along to get along, especially if they see others get fired for raising hell, but who knows if that was the case here. Unless others speak out to either refute or corroborate his case, we're not likely to either.

          "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

          by northsylvania on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 04:54:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  As someone who is management... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bontemps2012

          an abrasive asshole is the type of person who doesn't get anything accomplished but improving their feelings of self worth at the expensive of others. They are NOT the type of people I want around.

          I encourage everyone to tell me what I don't want to hear and they do!  

        •  I resemble that remark!! (0+ / 0-)

          Two things as an inspector you never, ever tell management:

          NO, it isn't correct and I told you so.

      •  The Japanese claim the battery was over-volted (6+ / 0-)

        Which would be a battery charger issue, and Securaplane builds the charger.    Whether or not this guy has a valid point about his firing (and I expect engineers to be hostile when they perceive enginering flaws) it points out a design environment that may have been less than optimal.

        The fact that no judge has ruled on the cause of the event that occurred last week should not be surprising, that criticism is kind of a stretch...

        •  He's not an engineer. And expecting someone to be (0+ / 0-)

          hostile if he or she perceives a design flaw is a desing flaw itself, unless the design is to create a dysfunctional work place.

          And it wasn't within the judges purview.  He ruled that whether the tech's points were valid or not was not the case.  The issue was how he behaved.  

          Look, the guy might have seen something that caused the batter fire.   The trouble is he didn't get himself out from under a just cause firing, by virtue, it must be assumed, of ample testimony from his peers and supers.

          We don't know but the sketchiest of specifics.  Until we do, we shouldn't be calling techs enineers and saying that being an assole, even under stress, is  how to deal with a difficult situation.  Look at the way this site takes down assholes before you start pedestaling someone how has a court ruling against himself to that effect .

          "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

          by nailbender on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 02:19:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  "abrasive asshole" (3+ / 0-)

        It does sound that way. (He did have a previous felony conviction, though it had been overturned).

        ...there is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. - Ratty

        by John Q on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 03:27:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  the key point is: (0+ / 0-)
        the ALJ ruled that Leon had engaged in AIR21-protected activity when he complained that design documents for the component contained discrepancies, including a discrepancy between the intended design and the design as represented on the schematic.
        The fact that the complainant was also a jerk is irrelevant to the issue raised here, which is air safety. Whether this is the actual source of the fires remains unanswered.
        •  The point is, contrary to the diary's title, (0+ / 0-)

          a court ruled that the company was not firing him for proetected, whistleblower activity.  He may have been a legit whistleblower but he lost this case.  Also, he filed suit because he was given a birthday card by his bosses.  Talk about injustice!~

          "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

          by nailbender on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 02:41:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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