Two longtime United Airlines flight attendants have filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging that they were passed over for the coveted job of working on charter flights for the Los Angeles Dodgers because the players desire a “certain look” and they didn’t fit the aesthetic.
Dawn Todd and Darby Quezada claim that they were overlooked for preferential assignments on charter flights for the team due to their appearance not meeting the supposed preferences of the players, which is that of “white, young, thin women who are predominately blond[e] and blue-eyed.”
Todd is a 50-year-old Black woman who has spent more than 17 years with United Airlines. Quezada is a 44-year-old woman of Black, Mexican, and Jewish descent and has spent almost 16 years with the airline.
“It was extremely disappointing that United mistreated us in this way and then completely ignored our complaints,” said Ms. Todd per a statement obtained by ESSENCE. Quezada said she was called the “flight’s maid” because they needed “a Mexican to clean the bathrooms,” was told to stop speaking Spanish with a Dodger player because “we are in America,” and endured antisemitic comments.
The lawsuit contends that the two flight attendants, despite being initially assigned to the Dodgers’ charter flights, were later demoted within the program, and that Quezada was eventually removed without explanation.
It also alleges that United engaged in flagrant discrimination by removing the only minority female flight attendants off the Dodgers charter flights and replacing them with young white women who did not have to interview as they did for the highly desired positions, at the Dodgers’ request.
The Dodgers charter flights are particularly desirable because the crew members earn more money for the longer flights, premium accommodations and higher per diem compensation. They can also obtain valuable sporting event tickets, field passes and rare sports merchandise.
“Major American corporations like United Airlines must understand that it is illegal to make staffing decisions based on an employee’s race and looks, even if it is meant to please major clients like the Los Angeles Dodgers,”said Sam S. Yebri, attorney for both plaintiffs, said in a press release.
According to Forbes.com, the airline responded to their request for comment by stating the following: “United fosters an environment of inclusion and does not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We believe this lawsuit is without merit and intend to defend ourselves vigorously.”
The Dodgers are not named as defendants in the lawsuit and have not commented on it.
This isn’t the first time United Airlines has been accused of preferential treatment on team charters. A complaint filed in 2020 claimed that the airline discriminated against Black and Jewish flight attendants for its various sporting team charter services, hiring only individuals who “fit a specific visual image” such as “young, white, female, and predominantly blonde/blue-eyed” employees.
Source link : www.essence.com