Black pilots over at United Airlines are not just unhappy with the airline, they feel their airline needs to be investigated for discriminatory practices. A group of African-American United Airlines pilots are currently involved in a major lawsuit over claims of discrimination at the airline. The plaintiffs are also asking Congress and the U.S. Department of Justice to examine into their allegations.
According to the pilots int he lawsuit, Chicago-based United routinely passed them over for management promotions because of their race and that the airline even retaliated against them for after they filed civil rights complaints.
“About a dozen pilots filed complaints about discriminatory promotion practices with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2010 and reached a settlement with United the following year, according to Brian Mildenberg, an attorney representing most of the pilots,” reported The Chicago Tribune.
But United is saying there is nothing to these claims. “These claims remain as baseless today as they were four years ago when they were originally filed,” United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy wrote in an email. “We remain confident that United will prevail in these remaining cases,” she added.
But the lawsuit has been in the works for some time. “In 2012, 23 United employees, mostly captains, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, in San Francisco, alleging the discrimination continued along with retaliation for filing the complaints. The following year, a judge said the lawsuit failed to show black employees were excluded from applying for certain positions but said the pilots could amend the complaints,”reported newspaper
Earlier this year, the court dismissed some of the pilots’ claims although others, including allegations United retaliated against them for filing the 2012 lawsuit, will be going to trial. There will be five separate trials. Among the issues that will most likely come up in court, is something the Black pilots call “The Vault,”a “secret racist organization within United” that worked to keep African-American pilots from being promoted. There were also incidents of racist comments, including one pilot who said he found a photograph of a lynching with a note saying: “How to move up in seniority at United Airlines” in his work mailbox. This was soon the 2012 lawsuit filing.