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United Airlines sued for California workplace discrimination

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2023 | Business Compliance, Employment Law |

Workplace discrimination in California is illegal and addressed in the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). The Department of Fair Employment and Housing is responsible for enforcing the FEHA. Workplace discrimination is prohibited across America, but instances of discrimination in the workplace still occur.

What defines workplace discrimination?

Workplace discrimination is when a person is treated unfairly based on certain characteristics. Race, gender, sex, age, religion, disability and sexual orientation are examples of these characteristics.

Discrimination can present itself in different ways. Unequal pay, denial of promotions and exclusion from job opportunities are a few examples of discrimination on the job. A more recent example of workplace discrimination is the case involving United Airlines.

Lawsuit accuses United Airlines of workplace discrimination

Two longtime flight attendants are suing United Airlines because the airline excluded them from job opportunities based on race and age. The flight attendants say they were prohibited from working on charter flights for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The complaint states that white, young, thin and mostly blond and blue-eyed women were selected for the Los Angeles Dodgers charter flights. The flight attendants were chosen based on a look that’s preferred by the Los Angeles Dodgers team.

The flight attendants who filed the lawsuit have worked for the airline for over 15 years. One flight attendant is Dawn Todd, a 50 year old Black woman. The second flight attendant is Darby Quezada, a 44 year old woman of Jewish, Mexican and Black heritage. They are seeking compensation for harassment and workplace discrimination.

United Airlines released a statement denying the claim. According to the statement, United Airlines doesn’t tolerate workplace discrimination and works to create an inclusive environment. The statement goes on to say the airline feels the accusations are unjust.

Todd and Quezada were added to the Dodgers charter flight program after the airline faced a similar lawsuit in 2020. The 2020 lawsuit claimed that United Airlines discriminated regarding staffing of athletic team charter flights. However, Todd began to receive fewer flights and Quezada was dropped when several white flight attendants joined the program.

Workplace discrimination is illegal. If you experience discrimination in the workplace, it’s important to address the issue. You have the legal right to work in an environment free of discrimination and harassment.