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Delta workers claim Lands' End uniforms make them sick

Getting dressed for work is literally making some Delta Air Lines employees sick, claims a class-action lawsuit against Lands' End, the maker of uniforms worn by some 64,000 Delta workers.

The suit, filed this week in federal court in Wisconsin on behalf of a ticket agent, 11 flight attendants and other Delta workers, contends they developed health issues including difficulty breathing, fatigue and rashes after the carrier introduced the "Passport Plum" uniforms last year.

The litigation is not the first centering on Delta's outfit. It follows a proposed class-action filed against Lands' End in May by two Delta flight attendants, who also alleged that chemicals used to make the uniform material waterproof, anti-static, deodorizing and wrinkle- and stain-resistant were causing allergic and other reactions. 

At that time, Delta told media outlets that "although Delta and Lands' End conducted in-depth testing during every step of development, a small number of employees have reported skin irritations."

"Our top priority continues to be the safety of our employees, which is why we invested in a rigorous toxicology study to determine if there was a universal scientific issue with the uniform," a Delta spokesperson said in an email. "The results of the study confirm our uniforms meet the highest textile standards — OEKO-TEX — with the exception of the optional flight attendant apron, which we removed from the collection." 

Lands' End does not comment on pending litigation, a spokesperson for the retailer told CBS MoneyWatch by email.

Delta isn't the only airline with flight attendants claiming that their uniforms caused health issues. American Airlines employees sued uniform maker Twin Hill in 2018 over allegations that its synthetic uniforms contained chemicals that were causing health problems for flight attendants and pilots. 

Twin Hill dismissed the claims as "without merit."

Similar complaints occurred at Alaska Airlines after its workers were issued new uniforms in late 2010 and early 2011 made by Twin Hill. The company and airline recalled the uniforms in 2014 but a lawsuit against the company failed, with a court finding no evidence the uniforms caused any health problems.

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