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United Airlines to Pay $321,000 and Fight Internet Harassment to Settle EEOC Discrimination Suit

Allegations put forth by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission have born fruit, and in a big way as the plaintiff in the case is a giant in its industry. United Airlines, a globally known entity with hundreds of airports in continents around the world, will be required to legally pay out 321,000, not including attorney fees, to settle a sexual discrimination suit. Although the alleged harasser acted of his own volition, he did so as an employee of the airline, an entity which, according to the EEOC, failed in its duty to oversee employee behavior and weed out discrimination. The employee, a captain, allegedly posted pics of a stewardess online. The images, which were deemed explicit, were posted on an array of sites without the consent of the stewardess herself and included the suggestive tag line, “Fly The Friendly Skies.”

Key Takeaways:

  • The case concerns a United pilot who is accused of having posted explicit photos of an identified flight attendant onto several websites over multiple years.
  • The pilot included the flight attendant’s name, affiliation with United, and various other pieces of personal and professional information when posting the photos.
  • Title VII of the1964 Civil Rights Act requires employers to take action in response to allegations of sexual harassment.

“The EEOC maintained that United failed to prevent and correct the pilot’s behavior, even after the flight attendant made numerous complaints and provided substantial evidence to the airline of the pilot’s conduct.”

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