Lawsuit Against Airline For Allegedly Preferring ‘White, Young, Thin’ Flight Attendants
New Delhi: Two flight attendants of US-based United Airlines sued their company for harassment and discrimination on the basis of race, religion, and age. Dawn Todd, 50 and Black, and 44-year-old Darby Quezada, another Black, Mexican of Jewish descent, claim that despite having all qualifications, they are sidelined from the airline’s charter flights for the Los Angeles Dodgers. They argued that the airlines routinely put their “young and thin” colleagues on these flights. It is important to note that charter flight assignments are lucrative where the flight attendants can make three times more payments than their regular flights. This affects the earning ability of flight attendants who are not given the opportunity to serve on these flights.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the lawsuit was filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Wednesday. Todd and Quezada have worked for United for more than 15 years. They have strived for more than 10 years to join the staff on the airline’s Dodgers flights but their requests were always declined.
In 2020, two other flight attendants filed a suit against the airline for discrimination on racial grounds. This case was settled out of court. Soon Todd and Quezada were added to the Dodgers charter flight program after an extensive selection process.
However, in 2022, Todd and Quezada noted that many white flight attendants were added as the ‘dedicated crew’ of the Dodgers charter flight program without any interview process.
The lawsuit details, “These white flight attendants were blatantly selected by United’s management … because of how they looked: they are white, young, thin women who are predominately blond and blue-eyed. When Todd and Quezada asked United why certain flight attendants were added … without having to interview like they did, Todd and Quezada were told that these white flight attendants fit a ‘certain look’ that the Dodgers players liked.”
Soon Todd and Quezada started receiving lesser assignments to Dodgers flights. They then ended up being demoted from the program. Quezada was also removed “without any justification.” Now the two flight attendants are trying to get a jury trial and an unspecified amount in damages.
United Airlines gave a statement to the Los Angeles Times about the lawsuit and said that it is “without merit” and the airline “fosters an environment of inclusion and does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.”