United Sued Over Discrimination Of Staffing On Sports Charters

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**Update: 09/12/20 @ 22:52 UTC – A United spokesperson has shared information about the charter program; details below.**

United Airlines is facing a lawsuit over allegations that it fills charter flights for sports teams with young, blond flight attendants. The legal complaint filed this week in California claims that the Chicago-based carrier prevents older crew members from working in the cabin on these services.

United Airlines Livery
United Airlines is facing legal action over discrimination allegations. Photo: Getty Images

The background

According to reports shared initially by Bloomberg, the two flight attendants filing the suit have been working for United for approximately three decades each. One of the employees is a Jewish woman that has been with the airline for 34 years. Meanwhile, the other worker is a Black woman that has been with the carrier for 28 years.

The pair state that both repeatedly tried to get assigned jobs on these charter flights. However, their attempts have been unsuccessful.

Sharon Tesler and Kim Guillory shared that their supervisors told them that they were not on “preferred” lists that were based on the preferences on the sports teams. So, they were unable to get work on these flights. Subsequently, they found out that young, white, blond attendants went on to work on these services.

United has several contracts across the sports industry. It has agreements with approximately three dozen teams in the National Football League, Major League Baseball, and National Collegiate Athletic Association.

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Those with shifts on flights transporting these teams earn more and receive premium accommodations. Additionally, they sometimes receive tickets to important events such as the playoffs and the Super Bowl.

United Aircraft
These charter flights are important services for United Airlines throughout the company. Photo: Getty Images

The allegations

Nonetheless, the complaining parties believe that United has demeaned its hard-working and long-standing loyal staff members. Additionally, they feel that the airline is creating an egregious workplace culture in which discrimination, harassment, and retaliation flourishes.

According to a document shared by the Superior Court State of the State of California, the preliminary statement representing the complaining parties states the following:

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“[United] has unlawfully determined that the economic value of hard-working flight attendants should rest entirely on their racial and physical attributes, and stereotypical notions of sexual allure — in violation of California law, and as if decades of laws and policies preventing discrimination based on age, race and ancestry, and gender simply do not exist.”

United airlines aircraft parked
The flight attendants say that the actions of United are not in accordance with the law. Photo: Getty Images

The case continues

The flight attendants shared that they initially lodged complaints with United, but they were ignored. Subsequently, they turned to legal action. The case is lodged as Guillory v. United Airlines, Inc, 20-civ-03889, in Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo.

Simple Flying reached out to United Airlines for comment on its program. A spokesperson told Simple Flying the following:

“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.”

Altogether, the carrier concluded that 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.

What are your thoughts about United Airlines facing legal action with the two flight attendants? What do you make of the situation? Let us know what you think of these reports in the comment section.

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