Southwest flight attendants were awarded $5M following her firing for their stance on abortion
House Oversight Committee holds a hearing to discuss the implications of the Supreme Court’s decision to ban abortion.
A federal judge in Texas has granted an ex- Southwest flight staffer greater than 5 million dollars following Southwest firing her for her views on abortion in a suit that dates back to 2017.
The reward of combined damages for punitive and compensatory follows an investigation by the Transportation Workers Union of America (TWU) Local 556 union as well as Southwest were fired Charlene Carter over her faith-based opinion regarding abortion that she posted via social media.
“Today is a victory for freedom of speech and religious beliefs. Flight attendants should have a voice and nobody should be able to retaliate against a flight attendant for engaging in a protected speech against her union,” Carter said to FOX Business in a statement. “I am so humbled and thankful for today’s decision and for everyone who’s supported me these past five years, including the National Right to Work Foundation.”
Adam Greenfield, an attorney at The Law Offices of Cloutman and Greenfield, PLLC, representing TWU Local 556, said the “factual evidence” in the case “indicates an outcome that is different from the latest decision of the jury, and could have misunderstood the charge of the court.
“We look forward to appellate review,” Greenfield said.
Southwest has told FOX Business in a statement that the airline has “demonstrated a history of supporting our [e]mployees’ rights to express their opinions when done in a respectful manner.”
“We are disappointed with this verdict and plan to appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals,” the company declared.
Carter was a member of the union since 1996. She left in 2013 when she realized that her beliefs didn’t align with the views of the union. However, she was still required to pay union dues in exchange for her job, as per the release.
In 2017 Carter was informed that the union, along with its President, Audrey Stone, attended the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., and was funded by Planned Parenthood. The flight attendant had criticized the union’s participation via social media.
The federal court has granted an ex-Southwest flight attendant up to $5 million. (Charlene Carter / Fox News)
Carter also wrote to the union’s head of state informing him of his intention to support the recall campaign against Stone.
Southwest management then informed Carter that she needed to attend a conference regarding her posts on Facebook, in which the airline provided images of her social media activities and posts about her pro-life beliefs and inquired about the reason she was posting these posts.
The company’s representatives also informed Carter of the following: Stone claimed she was “harassed” by Carter online and Southwest dismissed her within a week of the lawsuit.
Southwest flight attendant Charlene Carter was awarded over five million dollars in a suit that claims her demotion from the company because her views on abortion were unconstitutional. (Southwest Airlines/Stephen M. Keller)
“No American worker should have to fear termination, intimidation, or any other reprisal merely for speaking out against having their own money spent, purportedly in their name, to promote an agenda they find abhorrent,” said Mark Mix, president of National Right to Work Foundation that provided pro-bono representation in court to Carter.
Mix said Mix that “even with this basic right” to disagree with the ideas of the union “under the Railway Labor Act successfully defended, however, TWU union officials still enjoy the enormous government-granted privilege of being able to force airline workers to financially subsidize their activities as a condition of employment.”
“While we’re proud to stand with Ms. Carter and are pleased by the verdict, there ultimately should be no place in American labor law for compelling workers to fund a private organization that violates their core beliefs,” said the judge.