Airline back in court to fight punishment for firing pro-life employee



[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Live Action News.]

By Bridget Sielicki
Live Action News

Southwest Airlines was in federal court Monday seeking to reverse a court order to pay $800,000 to a flight attendant who was fired due to her pro-life beliefs. The airline was also challenging a judge’s contempt order requiring three of its attorneys to undertake “religious liberty training.”

In 2017, Charlene Carter filed a lawsuit against the airline in which she said she was unfairly fired from her job as a flight attendant due to her pro-life beliefs. She had been critical on social media of her union’s decision to participate in the 2017 Women’s March, due to its association with Planned Parenthood. A court agreed that she was unfairly terminated, and ordered Southwest to rehire her, as well as pay her compensation — an order it is still fighting.

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On Monday, the three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals began hearing the appeal from the airline, which is challenging the order that it pay Carter, as well as the August 2023 religious liberty training mandate. According to ABC News, the airline continues to maintain that it was justified in firing Carter, saying she was fired not for her religious beliefs, but because she violated rules requiring civility in the workplace by sending “hostile and graphic” pro-life messages to the union leader. The airline is also arguing that the mandated religious liberty training violates First Amendment speech rights of the attorneys.

Are pro-life employees often targeted for firing?

Carter is being represented in her lawsuit by the National Right to Work Foundation.

“Southwest and TWU union officials made Ms. Carter pay an unconscionable price just because she decided to speak out against the political activities of union officials in accordance with her deeply held religious beliefs,” stated National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Yet rather than comply with the jury’s decision and the District Court order, Southwest and TWU union bosses have decided to attempt to defend their ‘targeted assassinations’ against a vocal union critic. We are proud to defend Ms. Carter throughout this prolonged legal case to vindicate her rights.”

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Live Action News.]


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