A woman who objected to her union’s financial support of abortion has gone to court after being fired by Southwest Airlines over her “highly offensive” perspective.
The Washington Free Beacon reported the lawsuit brought by Charlene Carter of Aurora, Colorado.
The veteran flight attendant alleges she was fired by Southwest after opposing her union’s funding of a trip by officials to attend last winter’s pro-abortion Women’s March in Washington.
According to the Free Beacon, Carter alleges her employment was terminated for expressing her religious faith regarding abortion in Facebook posts and messages to Audrey Stone, a union official.
“The suit alleges that Stone and the company’s actions represented retaliation over her bid to stop paying ‘compelled fees for its political, ideological, and other nonbargaining spending, and to engage in other speech and activity in opposition to Local 556,'” the report said.
Besides objecting to the union funding of attendees at the Women’s March, she also sent messages to Stone “objecting to the use of union resources to participate in the march and included a link to a video depicting an abortion, as well as articles about the participation of a convicted terrorist in the March,” the report said.
She supported a recall of union officials and on Facebook wrote: “This [an abortion] is what you supported during your Paid Leave with others at the Women’s MARCH in DC. Wonder how this will be coded in the LM2 Financials … cause I know we paid for this along with your Despicable Party. … Can’t wait for you to have to be just a regular flight attendant again.”
The company claimed her pro-life statements were “highly offensive in nature” and her messages to union officials “harassing.”
However, her lawsuit in federal court charges Southwest “has subjected approximately thirteen supporters of the recall effort to termination of employment, suspension, repeated fact-findings, and/or other disciplinary measures in the last twelve months, many times at the request of Local 556 members and officials.”
Her comments, the lawsuit contends, are protected under the Railway Labor Act.
“By firing Carter for her Facebook messages to President Stone and for related posts, Southwest violated Carter’s rights under RLA … to vigorously exercise ‘uninhibited, robust, and wide-open’ free speech related to flight attendants’ efforts to reorganize Local 556, to collectively bargain with Southwest, and to oppose the union’s leadership and spending. Defendants had no valid justifications for their actions, and Carter exercised her speech in a manner that would not unduly interfere with any legitimate interest,” the complaint says.
An additional claim pending before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the airline and Transport Workers Union of America Local 556 alleges religious discrimination.
“My sincere religious beliefs require me to share with others that abortion is the taking of human life … my employer discriminated against me on the basis of my sincerely held religious belief and speech,” it states.