United Flight Attendants Sue Over Racism Allegations On LA Dodger Charter Flights

Image: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)
Image: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

Two older, non-white flight attendants have brought a suit against United Airlines that alleges the company engaged in racist behavior when it replaced them with younger white women serving as flight attendants on charters for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team.

Southern California’s the Daily Bulletin reports that the suit has been brought against United by two veteran flight attendants, Darby Quezada, 44, and Dawn Todd, 50. Both have worked for the airline for over 15 years. Filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the suit alleges that United is engaging in hiring practices based on race and appearance.

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When Todd and Quezada asked United why certain flight attendants were added to the ‘dedicated crew’ or ‘dedicated list’ without having to interview like they did, Todd and Quezada were told that these White flight attendants fit a ‘certain look’ that the Dodgers’ players liked,” the suit claimed.

Quezada and Todd also claim that they were subjected to racist behavior by the white attendants. Quezada claims that comments were made about needing a “Mexican maid” to clean flights due to her Hispanic heritage, for instance. Both are now going after the airline for an unknown amount in damages. The Dodgers declined to comment on the case. United is denying everything, saying in a statement, “United fosters an environment of inclusion and does not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We believe this lawsuit is without merit and intend to defend ourselves vigorously.”

Meanwhile, the attorney for Todd and Quezada, Sam S. Yebri, says that United must answer for its actions:

Major American corporations like United Airlines must understand that it is illegal to make staffing decisions based on an employee’s race and looks, even if it is meant to please major clients like the Los Angeles Dodgers. United’s blatantly discriminatory staffing decisions allowed the cancer of racism and antisemitism to metastasize on the flights themselves.

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