A Brazilian court has ordered GOL Linhas Aereas to cover the cosmetic costs of their female cabin crew and airport staff. It was an unprecedented decision that could influence similar changes within the Brazilian industry. Let’s investigate further.
US$42 per month in compensation
The Brazilian Work Minister and the Cabin Crew Brazilian Union (SNA, in Portuguese) started a class action against GOL Linhas Aéreas. They were stating that the airline orders its female employees to use part of their income to modify their appearance with makeup.
Meanwhile, the male employees aren’t forced to spend part of their salaries on their personal appearance, contributing to gender inequality. Approximately 4,000 women are working for GOL at the moment.
Therefore, the Minister and SNA demanded that GOL pay to cover its female employees’ cosmetic costs.
On September 6, the Cabin Crew Union released a statement saying that the Brazilian labor court had ruled in their favor. Now it says,
“The company will have to make monthly compensations free of charge, with a cost of 220 reais (approximately US$42) to each female employee.” This payment is retroactive for each month the female workers were at the company.
Additionally, the airline will have to pay 500,000 reais (US$95,000) as compensation for collective moral damage. Going forward, GOL will also have to give its female staff, free of charge, the makeup they need for their personal appearance and pay for any aesthetic procedure like manicure, and laser depilation.
According to the cabin crew union, GOL will have to stop forcing its female employees, through the company’s manuals, to do aesthetic procedures.
In the meantime, the Brazilian carrier said that cosmetic treatments were only recommendations, but the Court dismissed this objection. Instead, the Court noted that GOL was guilty of “gender discrimination and a reduction in women’s pay.”
Simple Flying reached GOL Linhas Aereas for comment. The carrier stated,
“GOL does not comment on Court decisions.”
Finally, the flight attendants union director, Clauver Castilho, said that this decision could influence changes across the Brazilian professional sector. It will set a precedent going forward, he added.
An update on GOL’s current operations
GOL Linhas Aereas is currently flying only domestic routes. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brazilian carrier has not flown internationally in the last 18 months. Nevertheless, it is already planning to resume its international connectivity.
According to Cirium’s database, GOL has scheduled 12,380 commercial flights in September, offering 2.18 million available seats. If we compare those numbers with two years ago, GOL is operating 42.9% fewer flights and offering 43% fewer seats.
So far, GOL has carried 9.26 million passengers in 2021. It has a market share o 29.21% in the Brazilian domestic market, trailing behind Azul Linhas Aereas.
Compared to 2019 numbers, GOL still has to recover 45% of its pre-pandemic traffic figures. It also has to reactivate 68 routes, according to Cirium.
Finally, regarding GOL’s international connectivity, the airline has stated that it will resume its flights on November 3. The airline confirmed its plans to Simple Flying. GOL said,
“São Paulo-Montevideo (Uruguay) is the first international route to be resumed by GOL, on November 3, followed by Brasilia-Cancún (Mexico), on November 12, and São Paulo-Punta Cana (Dominican Republic), on November 13.”
What do you think of the decision of the Brazilian court? Let us know in the comments below.