Flight Attendant Sues Southwest Airlines and Union for Discrimination

Oct 3, 2017

A flight attendant with Southwest Airlines believes she was fired from her job with the airline because she criticized the union and spoke about her Christian faith. Charlene Carter filed suit against the union and the airline company in federal court. The suite claims that her firing was in retaliation over her effort “to stop paying ‘compelled fees for it political, ideological, and other non bargaining spending, and to engage in other speech and activity in opposition to Local 556.’” Carter took to Facebook to oppose using union dues “to fly two dozen officials and flight attendants to attend January’s Women’s March protest.” Carter sent various messages to the union president Audrey Stone that supported right-to-work legislation, a decertification campaign, and links to a video showing an abortion. Southwest Airlines fired Carter citing her abortion related posts as being “highly offensive in nature” and her Facebook messages to Audrey Stone as “harassing and inappropriate.” Carter argues that her criticisms of Stone are protected speech because “they were directly related to labor activities.”