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Airline agrees to settlement in sexual harassment action

A major airline has settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. United Airlines will pay $321,000 under the terms of the agreement to dispose of a claim by a flight attendant who alleged a pilot posted sexual photos of her to the internet without consent. Employers operating in Missouri are required to provide employees with a safe working environment, and sexual comments or behaviors might give rise to actionable legal claims.

The posts made by the pilot included the name of the flight attendant along with her home airport and the tagline Fly the Friendly Skies. According to the EEOC complaint, the posts were seen by the flight attendant's coworkers as well as by potential passengers. The complaint alleged that she experienced embarrassment and humiliation and that her work environment was adversely affected by the posts. The EEOC said the company did not correct or prevent the behavior of the pilot, despite the flight attendant complaining about it several times and providing evidence.

In addition to agreeing to pay $321,000, the airline agreed to give its employees notice of the rights they have under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and to make revisions to the company's sexual harassment policy. According to a regional attorney for the EEOC, this case is an example of modern workplace employer harassment accountability.

People who experience or witness workplace sexual harassment in Missouri might want to schedule a meeting with an attorney. An attorney who has experience practicing employment law might be able to help by reviewing the facts of the case, interviewing witnesses, conducting depositions or otherwise working to build a case for trial. An attorney might be able to negotiate a settlement for money damages or other relief. In cases that cannot be settled, an attorney might draft and file a complaint for damages in civil court.

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