Tennessee frequent flyers might be interested in news about a racial discrimination lawsuit that has been filed against Southwestern Airlines. The lawsuit was filed by a former employee who claims that the airline allowed some employees to set up a whites-only break room at an airport where he worked. He also says that he was fired from his job for an infraction that was also committed by white employees, but they were not fired.
The man filing the suit, who became an employee of Southwest in 2013 when the company merged with his employer, AirTran, says that his supervisor was aware of the whites-only break room and allowed it to continue. The lawsuit alleges that the break room remained for several years, until the area it was in was renovated in 2016 or 2017. According to the complaint, there was also a noose hanging from a gate at the airport during the same time period that the whites-only break room existed.
The lawsuit also alleges that the former employee was fired for failing to immediately report damage to a vehicle he was operating, while two white employees who also had damaged vehicles were only given notices for failing to report the damages. Southwest Airlines said it cannot comment on pending litigation, but the company did issue a statement which says that it is an equal opportunity employer and does not condone discrimination. The statement also says that the company works to foster a diverse and inclusive environment.
Workplace discrimination laws protect employees who are discriminated against due to their memberships in what are called protected classes. These classes include race, religion, sex, and age. An employment law attorney can often be of assistance to victims of this types of unfair treatment.