Flight Attendants Sue Delta Air Lines for Anti-Semitism
Four flight attendants sue Delta Air Lines, both current and former employees of Delta Air Lines, for being anti-Jewish, anti-Israel, and anti-Hebrew.
According to Jewish Telegraphic Agency:
In the suit, the plaintiffs allege that Delta management “through words and deeds, operate under an express assumption that ethnic Jews and Israelis, as employees and passengers, cannot be trusted, are aggressive and inappropriate, and engage in what are deemed to be ‘strange’ behaviors by conducting prayers on the flight and requiring special dietary accommodations (kosher meals).”
The lawsuit also claims that Delta has punished Jewish and other flight attendants, including with suspension or termination, for legally sharing their companion travel passes with Jewish individuals who fly to Tel Aviv “solely on the basis of their Jewish and Israel ethnicity and ancestry,” It also says Delta has punished them for being Jewish or for their association with Jews and Israelis, “and has either restricted their employment rights, denied them promotions, or subjected them to harassment and abuse, for pretextual reasons.”
Among the incidents cited, according to reports and first reported by TMZ, is a flight attendant who says she was fired in March because she is Jewish. While the company says it fired her because she missed a flight, the woman says she was on maternity leave at the time.
Delta Air Lines has two flights to Israel. One is from New York to Tel Aviv, which was reinstated in 2008 after being taken out of service in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks. The other is a flight from Delta Air Lines hub in Atlanta, Georgia to Tel Aviv.
Discrimination can sometimes be difficult to prove, given that the plaintiffs will have to demonstrate that there was not only these actions taken, but that the actions were based on a covered discriminatory reason (religion, of course, being covered under that onus).
The airline already seems to have justifications and reasons for the actions taken that the four flight attendants are contesting as discrimination, but they will have to further show that the reasons for the events were also based on discrimination. It will be interesting to see how they intend to prove that and whether they are successful in doing that.
There is, of course, quite a few circumstances in recent years where airlines have been sued for alleged discrimination. United Airlines faced allegations from an Arab-American family who was taken off a flight, or the alleged discrimination that came from a Muslim student on Spirit Airlines who claimed she was discriminated against after being denied a window seat, and then the claim that American Airlines was discriminating against people with food allergies for not allowing pre-boarding for people with allergies.