Last updated: 01:12 PM ET, Fri August 12 2016

Muslim Flight Attendant To Sue Airline Over Suspension

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | August 12, 2016

Muslim Flight Attendant To Sue Airline Over Suspension

A Muslim flight attendant for regional ExpressJet Airlines has filed a lawsuit against the carrier, saying she was wrongfully suspended last year for refusing to serve alcohol on flights due to her religious restrictions.

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations filed the suit on behalf of Charee Stanley, a Detroit-based flight attendant for ExpressJet, according to several media reports.

Stanley had been with the airline for three years and converted to Islam during that time. She said she was still learning the religion when she realized that Muslims could neither consume nor serve alcohol.

"It was at the direction of the airlines that she began coordinating with the other flight attendant on duty so that when a passenger requested alcohol, the other flight attendant would accommodate that request," her attorney, Lena Masri, told CNN last year when this came to light. "We know that this arrangement has worked beautifully and without incident and that it hasn't caused any undue burden on the airline. After all, it was the suggestion of the airline."

READ MORE: Flight Attendant Says Suspension Stems From Refusal To Serve Alcohol 

But, another flight attendant filed a complaint against Stanley on Aug. 2, 2015 related to her refusal to serve alcohol. Masri added that the grievance also noted Stanley had a book with "foreign writings" and wore a headdress.

ExpressJet put Stanley on official administrative leave on Aug. 25 and said it was taking away her religious accommodation related to the serving of alcohol.

The suit was filed in federal court in Detroit following Stanley’s discrimination complaint filed last year with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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