Union: American Airlines’ sick policy biased against women
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The flight attendants’ union accuses American Airlines of discriminating against its mostly female group by imposing a stricter attendance policy that can result in employees being fired quickly.
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants asked the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Friday to investigate its charge. About 75 percent of American’s flight attendants are women.
Union President Lori Bassani says in an interview that American is discriminating against women because the airline’s mostly male pilot workforce does not have a similar attendance policy.
“They would never think of treating (the pilots) in this manner,” she said.
American spokeswoman Susannah Wesley-Ahlschwede said, “We categorically reject any allegation of gender discrimination in our policies.”
Wesley-Ahlschwede said the policy is designed to make sure that American’s operation is staffed while giving flight attendants flexibility to manage time off.
Flight attendants are given points for things such as calling in sick during the holidays or after being asked to replace another absent flight attendant. Bassani says 10 points gets a flight attendant fired, and “a few” have been terminated.