A former Southwest flight attendant was awarded $5 million from a federal jury in Texas after the airline fired her over her stance on abortion in a lawsuit dating back to 2017.
Charlene Carter says Southwest fired her over social media posts regarding abortion that dissented from a union.
“Carter criticized her union’s President, Audrey Stone, for attending the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. – The Women’s March received funding from Planned Parenthood,” The Gateway Pundit noted.
Carter posted on Facebook at the time:
“This is what you supported during your paid leave with others at the Women’s March in D.C.,” Carter wrote in one Facebook message to Stone, according to the lawsuit. “… You truly are despicable in so many ways.”
Carter also sent messages to the union leader expressing intent to support a recall effort against Stone.
Southwest managers told Carter she had to attend a meeting regarding her Facebook posts, and the airline questioned why she posted messages regarding her pro-life stance.
Stone claimed to have been “harassed” by Carter online, and Southwest fired her a week later, according to the lawsuit.
Carter sued after her firing and won.
A federal judge has ordered that fired @SouthwestAir flight attendant Charlene Carter’s religious discrimination lawsuit against the company and its union would proceed to trial, after the judge denied a request to dismiss the lawsuit. https://t.co/UvkZeN2VHx
— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) May 16, 2022
Southwest flight attendant awarded $5M after firing over abortion stance
Southwest employee Charlene Carter says Southwest fired her over social media posts regarding abortion that dissented from a union
— Chris Abraham (@chrisabraham) July 16, 2022
“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 protected speech against her union,” Carter told FOX Business in a Friday 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.”
FOX Business reported:
Adam Greenfield, an attorney with the Law Offices of Cloutman and Greenfield, PLLC, representing TWU Local 556, said the “factual evidence” in the case “indicates an outcome different from the recent decision of the jury, which may have misunderstood the court’s charge.
“We look forward to appellate review,” Greenfield said.
Southwest told FOX Business in a statement that the airline has “demonstrated 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 said.
Carter joined the union in 1996 and resigned in 2013 after realizing that her religious views did not align with those of the union, but she was required to continue paying union fees as a condition of her employment, according to a press release.