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USA Legal Dispute Breaks New Ground for Employers
February 27, 2000

A legal dispute over an alleged sick leave strike or “sickout” in the USA may break new ground for employers. Reuters news service has reported that Northwest Airlines has obtained a subpoena to search the personal computers of members of the flight attendants’ union. Northwest is suing the union for damages after a rash of sick leaves among flight attendants at New Year resulted in cancellation of approximately 300 flights.

According to the report, the company’s computer consultants have already searched email on fourteen computers for references to the word “sickout.” The subpoena will permit Northwest’s consultants to copy data including deleted files from personal computers at the union offices and flight attendants’ homes.