Southwest Airlines Discrimination Case

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Southwest Airlines Discrimination Case Recently, a Southwest Airlines discrimination issue surfaced resulting from comments expressed by a Southwest pilot during a private conversation. The two minute conversation transpired on March 25, 2011 and was inadvertently broadcast over a Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control frequency in the Houston, Texas area during a flight from Austin, Texas to San Diego, California. According to the accusations, the comments were perceived as demeaning and derogatory with regard to the Southwest Airlines flight attendant employee group. The intent of this paper is not to determine guilt or malice, but instead to present the facts presented from both sides of the argument. The legal definition of discrimination will be explored as well as opinions and views from several sources familiar with the accusations. Potential legal ramifications resulting from broadcasting non-essential transmissions over a FAA air traffic control frequency will also be presented. Furthermore, statutory, regulatory, and judicial activity with regard to this issue will be explored. The incident stemmed from comments made by an unidentified Southwest Airlines pilot who filled a FAA air traffic control frequency with a two minute open microphone rant of potential discriminatory swearing and anti-gay slurs. Included were complaints regarding the lack of attractive flight attendants available for potential dating. In addition, the pilot stated the Southwest Airlines flight attendant workforce in general was a collection of gays, grannies, and ‘grandes’, referencing overweight, older women. The two major players in this case are the Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants Union ... ... middle of paper ... ...3). Flight Attendants' Union May File Charges Over Pilot's Rant. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/US/flight-attendants-union-file-charges-pilots-rant/story?id=13911994 EEOC.gov. (2011). Age Discrimination. Retrieved from http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/age.cfm EEOC.gov. (2011, July 1). Code of Federal Regulations. Retrieved from http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2011-title29-vol4/xml/CFR-2011-title29-vol4-part1604.xml Findlaw. (2011). 18 U.S.C. § 1464: Broadcasting obscene language. Retrieved from http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/18/I/71/1464 Justia.com. (2011). 29 C.F.R. § 1604.11 Sexual harassment: Title 29: Labor. Retrieved from http://law.justia.com/cfr/title29/29-4.1.4.1.5.0.21.11.html Towleroad.com. (2011, June 23). Southwest Flight Attendants May Sue Airline Over Pilot's Anti-Gay, Sexist Rant. Retrieved from http://www.towleroad.com/2011/06/sw.html

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