PHOTO: American Airlines is facing a lawsuit from two flight attendants. photo via Flickr/Briyyz)
A pair of flight attendants has filed suit against American Airlines, claiming the carrier failed to police its social media policy after they were sexually harassed on Facebook.
The two women, one based in Philadelphia and one in Charlotte, filed the federal suits during November in Pennsylvania, according to the Charlotte Observer.
The flight attendants say they both suffered sexual and gender harassment from male co-workers via Facebook posts, including on the two flight attendants’ personal Facebook pages. An American Airlines spokesperson told the Associated Press that the suits have no merit.
The women claim the airline failed to enforce its policy of prohibiting employees from making insulting or disparaging comments directed toward co-workers on social media. Both claim the harassment centered around the flight attendants’ union: Melissa Chinery of Philadelphia said she began receiving harassing messages after announcing she was seeking a union position, while the other flight attendant, Laura Medlin of Charlotte, received similar harassment after actually resigning from a union post.
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“Some of the flight attendants, the females, are feeling that they (American Airlines) are not monitoring what it is taking place on social media, which is resulting in abusive-type bullying,” Faye Riva Cohen, a Philadelphia-based attorney representing Medlin, told the Observer.
According to the lawsuit court filing, the women were called “sows”, “flippers” (a euphemism for prostitute) and other vulgarities.
Both women said they reported the harassment to the airline, which they said didn’t take appropriate steps to defend them or stop the social media abuse.