EEOC sues United, alleging pilot sexually harassed attendantPosted On: Aug. 10, 2018 1:41 PM CST
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed suit against United Airlines Inc., charging it violated federal law in a case where a pilot posted sexually explicit images of a flight attendant.
The agency said Thursday the United captain frequently posted sexually explicit images of the attendant to various websites, referring to her name, home airport and sometimes to the airline’s tagline,” Fly the Friendly Skies.”
The lawsuit alleges the posts were seen by co-workers and adversely affected the flight attendant’s working environment, and that the Chicago-based airline failed to prevent and correct the pilot’s behavior, even after she made numerous complaints and provided substantial evidence to support her complaints.
The airline is being charged with violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in San Antonio. It is asking the court to order United to pay the flight attendant compensatory and punitive damages, and issue a permanent injunction enjoining the airline from engaging in any further gender-bias practices.
The EEOC said it is also asking the court to order the airline to institute and carry out policies and practices that eradicate and prevent workplace sexual harassment.
EEOC Supervisory Trial Attorney Eduardo Juarez said in a statement, "Here, United was aware of the intimate details of how its pilot was harassing its flight attendant, but took no responsibility to put a stop to it.
“As a result, over a period of many years, the flight attendant had to work every day in fear of humiliation if a co-worker or customer recognized her from the pilot's postings,” which is unacceptable.
A United Airlines spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.
In 2015, a federal appeals court overturned a lower court ruling and held that United Airlines failed to adequately respond to death threats received by a black airline attendant.