A Muslim flight attendant has filed a complaint for discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stating that her employer ExpressJet, declined to accommodate her refusal to serve alcohol on her flights due to her religion. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a federal agency set up to administer and enforce discrimination laws against an employee or job applicant because of the person’s color, race, sex, religion (including pregnancy), disability, national origin, age (40 or older), or genetic information.
Charee Stanley, 40 would like nothing more than to do her job, but to so while conforming to her Islamic faith.
Stanley had previously been employed with the airline for three years but only decided to convert to her religion two years ago. It wasn’t until recently that she found out, not only does her faith permit her from drinking alcohol but it also permits her from serving it. She discussed her concerns with her supervisor at her job and was told to work it out with fellow flight attendants that were on duty as the same flight as her.
Stanley says the arrangements with other flight attendants worked well for some time. When alcohol was requested, one of her coworkers would accommodate Stanley’s customer by serving the alcohol. All went well until a fellow flight attendant filed a complaint against Stanley stating “she was not fulfilling her job duties since she refused to serve alcohol.” The same attendant also stated that Stanley had a book with “foreign writings” and wore a headdress. A further investigation into that complaint prompted the airline to immediately cease the accommodations. They sent a letter to Stanley and put her on an unpaid leave; in addition, advising her that she could be terminated after 12 months.
Stanley’s attorney Lena Masri says “No one should have to choose between their career and religion. We are requesting that her employment be reinstated and the accommodation of her religious beliefs be reinstated as well.”
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By Derek Smith, Esq. | Published July 8, 2015 | Posted in Discrimination, Employment Law, Hostile Work