United Airlines is being sued for discrimination among flight attendants. The lawsuit alleges that they staffed the charter flights with only young, blonde female crews. The case is Guillory v. United Airlines Inc., 20-civ-03889. The Superior Court of California will hear the case.
The United Airlines Lawsuit
According to the legal documents obtained by Bloomberg, the airline is allegedly basing the value of their employees, “entirely on their racial and physical attributes, and stereotypical notions of sexual allure.” The lawsuit comes from two established flight attendants who created the suit on Friday (September 11).
Kim Guillory is a Black woman who is a 28-year veteran in the industry. Sharon Tesler is Jewish who has 34 years of experience. Both women’s attempts were unsuccessful.
United Airlines released a statement on Saturday (September 12). “While we cannot comment on this ongoing litigation, the flight attendants included in our sports team charter program are largely representative of our overall flight attendant population in regards to age and race,” the statement read. “Importantly, flight attendant eligibility to work a charter flight is based solely on performance and attendance and has nothing to do with age, race or gender.”
United has over three dozen professional teams that it exclusively provides travel for. Aside from the National Football League, it provides for Major League Baseball, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Flight attendants earn more money on chartered flights. They are also are “provided with premium accommodations”.
Additionally, the employees sometimes get tickets to games, even the playoff, and Super Bowl games. Some workers have even managed to score highly sought after field passes.
What the Women Said
The two women are seeking monetary and punitive damages. Supervisors told Guillory and Tesler that they were not on “preferred lists” that were based on the team’s preferences. They both tried applying for the flights countless times.
“United has created a despicable situation,” they said. They lodged formal complaints and the company ignored them.
“[United Airlines] adopted and continues to implement procedures that are designed to ensure that young, white, blond/blue-eyed, female employees receive positions with the charter program, while more senior, and Black and Jewish employees such as plaintiffs, do not,” the complaint states.
The women who did book the chartered flights were all young, white, and blonde. All of the women had less seniority than Guillory and Tesler. United reported that the average age of flight attendants on these charters is 46. Furthermore, it has a higher percentage of African American attendants on the charter program than in its overall flight attendant population.