March 13, 2017
A Philadelphia-based flight attendant is one of two American Airlines flight attendants suing the company for its alleged failure to enforce its own social media, resulting in what the women claim was sexual harassment on Facebook.
The lawsuit, filed last November in federal court in Pennsylvania, accuses American Airlines of neglecting to intervene in a pair of incidents that unfolded on online forums and Facebook groups where many of the company's employees interact with one another, according to the Associated Press.
Flight attendant Melissa Chinery claimed that she was targeted online in 2014 after announcing her intent to run for a union position. Chinery said a group of male flight attendants called her demeaning names including "flipper," a slang term for prostitute, and "c---," in addition to publicly posting confidential information about her, The Charlotte Observer reports.
The second plaintiff, Charlotte-based flight attendant Laura Medlin, alleges that she became the target of online harassment after resigning from a union post. In that incident, according to the lawsuit, a group of Philadelphia-based male flight attendants insulted her with various names including "sow" and insinuated that she was a prostitute.
The women are being represented by Philadelphia attorney Faye Riva Cohen, who said her clients feel American Airlines has failed to monitor online bullying activity among its employees. Under the company's policy governing social media, slurs and harassment are prohibited on both company affiliated and personal accounts. The women are seeking unspecified monetary damages.
American Airlines has reportedly denied the allegations and plans to defend itself in court.