Frank Heinz

American Airlines' New Sick Policy Biased Against Women: Union

The flight attendants' union accuses American Airlines of discriminating against its mostly female group by imposing a stricter attendance policy that can result in employees being fired quickly.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants asked the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Friday to investigate its charge. About 75 percent of American's flight attendants are women.

Union President Lori Bassani said in an interview that American is discriminating against women because the airline's mostly male pilot workforce does not have a similar attendance policy.

Flight attendants are given points for things such as calling in sick during the holidays or after being asked to replace another absent flight attendant. Bassani says 10 points gets a flight attendant fired, and "a few" have been terminated.

American Airlines told NBC 5 Friday afternoon that they have not yet reviewed the APFA’s filing but that they "categorically reject any allegation of gender discrimination in our policies."

Further, AA said:  "Like nearly all Fortune 100 companies, we have attendance policies that support our 24/7 operation. Our policy is designed to provide support and flexibility for our 27,000 flight attendants to give them latitude in managing their time away from work. At the same time, our policy ensures we’re staffed to provide our customers with the great service they expect and deserve when flying American. Our flight attendants are the best in the business and live up to their attendance commitments every day as they safely transport 560,000 customers across our system."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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