A pilot sentenced to probation for wearing his Cathay Pacific Airways uniform to bypass security at Honolulu International Airport is suing his former employer.
Joshu Osmanski, who now lives in New Orleans, said he wore the uniform and badge months after he was fired so that he could cut the security line. He was sentenced to three years’ probation last week in federal court in Honolulu.
He filed a civil suit in federal court in San Francisco, saying the airline discriminated against him and fired him because of his obligations as a Navy Reserve fighter pilot. The Hong Kong-based airline which conducts its U.S. business in San Francisco, is subject to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, said the lawsuit filed last month.
The federal law protects service members’ reemployment rights when returning from military service, including the reserves or National Guard. It prohibits employer discrimination based on military service or obligation.
The lawsuit says the airline criticized him for participating in reserve training, forced him to take unpaid leave and then fired him without explanation.
A manager told Osmanski that the airline has a “business to run and no government or any other entity is part of any agreement that will provide an impediment to our business,” the lawsuit said.
A Cathay Pacific spokeswoman said Tuesday the airline can’t comment on an active legal case.
During reserve training while on unpaid leave from work in 2011, Osmanski ejected from a malfunctioning jet moments before it crashed and exploded, the lawsuit said.
Birney Bervar, his Honolulu defense attorney in the criminal case, attributed a possible head injury from that crash as a reason for his actions at the airport. Osmanski, now a student at Tulane University, said in court he can’t explain what he did.