Two members of American Airlines cabin crew say that they were subjected to online harassment by male colleagues, but both have had their claims against their employer rejected in court. Ms. says that AA’s failure to stop this kind of behavior reveals a wider “culture of harassment” at the carrier.
Two members of American Airlines (AA) cabin crew who were subjected to online sexual harassment by male colleagues have had their legal suits against the airline rejected, but Ms. observes that their attempt to bring this behavior to the attention of their employer has revealed a wider “culture of harassment” at the carrier.
Back in 2017, SavvyStews revealed that Melissa Chinery and Laura Medlin filed separate sexual harassment suits against AA. In both instances, the women had each received negative and derogatory online comments from their male colleagues. Both women raised their concerns and it is alleged that AA’s human resources department was unresponsive to their respective complaints.
Ms. has also revealed that, rather than disciplining the men involved in perpetrating the comments, “AA ultimately promoted two of them to positions in the training department.”
Dismissing the women’s suits against AA, SavvyStews said that the presiding judge, Eduardo C. Robreno, “ruled that the evidence of workplace bullying and harassment brought forth by flight attendants Melissa Chinery and Laura Medlin was insufficient and untimely.”
Chinery and Medlin have appealed Robreno’s decision.
Offering her comments on the judge’s decision to SavvyStews, Faye Riva Cohen, the plaintiffs’ legal counsel, said, “We are disappointed by the Judge’s decision. Our clients were victims of gender-based discrimination. Given the unique nature of social media, the harassment our clients experienced was all-pervasive and impossible to escape. We believe that the Judge failed to adequately consider the power of social media and its impact on the workplace.”
She added that “American Airlines failed to take our clients’ complaints seriously. Until employers treat online bullying with the severity that it deserves, women will continue to be at a disadvantage in the workplace. Our clients are weighing their options to appeal the decision.”