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Thu, Jun 13, 2019

African-American Pilot Files Lawsuit Against United Airlines

Claims The Carrier Discriminated Against Him Because Of His Race

United Airlines pilot Clarence Williams has filed a lawsuit against the carrier claiming racial discrimination, saying the carrier treated him unequally, retaliated against him, and demoted him because he is African-American.

The East Bay Times reports that, according to the lawsuit, Williams was demoted from a Fleet Technical Manager position to a line pilot in part because he served as a witness in a case involving another African-American pilot, and he made a statement to United's human resources department concerning derogatory comments made about a female colleague.

The suit claims that "United demoted Captain Williams because of Captain Williams’ race and because Captain Williams would not cover up for his superiors when they made discriminatory and retaliatory remarks about other pilots. All relevant decision makers at United who chose to demote Captain Williams … were white.”

The suit goes on to allege that "white Fleet Technical Managers had less imposing deadlines, were required to do substantially less work, and were allowed leave for family emergencies such as the death of a parent or the cancer operations of their spouses — yet United did not afford these same benefits to Captain Williams.”

There are other allegations as well, including disparities in the way white employees were allowed to use vacation and family leave time to deal with family emergencies and medical issues.

Williams had been a fleet technical manager for United's Dreamliner airplanes. He was demoted to the position of pilot for B757s and 767s.

United said in a statement emailed to the East Bay Times that "We have looked into the allegations, and believe we did not discriminate against Mr. Williams and will defend ourselves in this case."

The damages sought by Williams are not specified in the suit.

(Image from file)

FMI: Source report

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