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Favoring White, Blond, Blue-haired Attendants On NFL And MLB Chartered Flights Lands United Airlines In A Lawsuit With Employees
In another case of corporations being ousted for discrimination, United Airlines has been accused of favoring young, white female flight attendants who are primarily blond, and blue-eyed on flights for the NFL and MLB.
According to reports by USA TODAY, the suit was filed Friday by Kim Guillory and Sharon Tesler who say the NFL and MLB have had “dedicated crews” of flight attendants fitting “a specific visual image.”
Jonathan Guerin, spokesperson for United Airlines tells USA TODAY, “United Airlines is proud of our track record on diversity, equity and inclusion. 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. 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.”
The lawsuit suggests, “The selection and assignment of the Inflight Charter Coordinators, ‘dedicated crews,’ and the ‘dedicated list’ for the charter program was, and continues to be, unlawfully based on race and ancestry, age, and gender.”
Tesler, who is Jewish, has worked for United for 36 years and in that time has experienced “multiple incidents of employees at United discriminating against Jewish individuals.” Tesler says she has heard employees making offensive comments about Jewish and Israeli people and has been pointed out for having “Jewish hair.” She also says she was told to cut her hair so she could “align with United’s visual image of a stereotypically white flight attendant.”
Guillory, who is Black, has been working for United for two years and has reported being “subjected to ongoing discrimination, harassment and retaliation that has been escalating in severity and frequency.” Guillory has voiced her concerns regarding the lack of diversity in crew members on NFL charter flights.
The lawsuit states that United has a policy in which staff cannot accept gifts over $25, however, dedicated crew members have “also received tickets to and the ability to attend games and playoff games including the Super Bowl, extremely valuable passes granting field access (which are not even available to the general public), merchandise, and more.”
The teams mentioned in this lawsuit are the San Francesco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams, Kansas City Chiefs, and New Orleans Saints.