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Air India

Transgender Flight Attendant Fights for Job

Transgender Flight Attendant Fights for Job
Joe Cortez

Indian Supreme Court will consider case of attendant dismissed over alleged discrimination.

A transgender woman will have her day in court against Air India and the Indian Civil Aviation Ministry, claiming that she was discriminated against because of her transition. India Today reports that the highest court will consider the case of Shanavi Ponnuswamy, who says she has been discriminated against over her gender.

Ponnuswamy applied for a position as a flight attendant with Air India on four different occasions. Despite testing highly, she has not been added to the shortlist of candidates – claiming her gender has prevented her from moving forward in the process, even when applying as a woman. She claims her appeals to the Civil Aviation Ministry have gone unheard.

“I have learnt that I have not been able to make the cut on account of the fact that I am a transgender,” Ponnuswamy told India Today. “And the vacancies in the cabin crew were earmarked only for women.”

Under a 2014 Indian Supreme Court Judgement, the would-be attendant says she should be given equal protection because transgender individuals are recognized as a third gender in the country. Furthermore, she noted a law passed in 2016 that grants protection from discrimination to transgender person “in relation to employment or occupation.”

Although Ponnuswamy’s lawsuit does not directly ask for employment with the Indian flag carrier, her appeal requests the airline and the Civil Aviation Authority to “consider the candidature of the petitioner for the post of cabin crew.” Neither Air India or the Civil Aviation Authority have responded to the litigation.

The lawsuit continues the troubles experienced by Air India in 2017. In September, the airline moved to ground over 500 employees over missed alcohol tests.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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