Employees for the air carrier industry are specifically protected for reporting safety concerns. Known as AIR21, the Aviation Investment and Reform Act (protects U.S. air carrier employees, as well as their contractors and subcontractors, from retaliation for sharing, or planning to share, information about safety violations. As in other industries, retaliation can include the employee firing the employee or otherwise discriminating against them for their disclosure, such as by cutting their pay or removing privileges.
Employees can file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to investigate retaliation claims. Safety issues can be reported to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to be investigated, but it does not investigate the employment aspect as OSHA does.