What has now become one of the biggest stories all over the world, a Muslim woman who worked for ExpressJet airlines as a flight attendant has come out and stated that she has been suspended from her job wrongfully last month due to the fact that she had refused to serve alcoholic drinks to any of the passengers on one of her routine flights, due to her religious beliefs which prohibit the consumption of Alcohol. The ExpressJet Flight Attendant who is based out of Detroit, Charlee Stanley has filed a complaint of discrimination on Tuesday in the EEOC or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. ExpressJet airlines have agreed to give Charlee Stanley accommodation according to her religious beliefs.
The airline added that Stanley can work out arrangement with the other flight crew so that they serve the alcoholic drinks instead of her. Lena Masri, an attorney of the Michigan chapter of CAIR or Council of American Islamic Relations has stated that Stanley was only suspended after a colleague of hers had complained about this. Charlee Stanley, who is now aged 40, has been working for ExpressJet airlines, which is based out of Atlanta, for more than 3 years. While she was working at ExpressJet she converted to Islam, stated Lena Masri. Charlee Stanley rightfully went to her supervisor sometime near June because she had just found out that her new religion does not only forbid consuming alcohol yourself but also serving any alcohol to others.
She added that once Stanley’s co worker complained about what she had done, Stanley was immediately put on unpaid leave for a period of 1 year. She had been placed on unplaced leave because those were the instructions which were given to her by ExpressJet Airline. Masri has also claimed that the original complaint which was made against Stanley was purely discriminatory, even though the employee was aware that Stanley had been carrying a book with a foreign writing on it and also wore a head scarf.
A spokeswoman for the ExpressJet Airlines has stated in a statement made by email that ExpressJet airline values diversity in their employees, however they were not going to comment on specific matters of personnel. The statement made by the spokeswoman for ExpressJet Airline stated that at ExpressJet they respect and embrace all the team members. They added that they are employers of equal opportunity for all and have a rich history of diversity inside the workforce.
Currently ExpressJet airlines have around 9000 employees and a fleet of 388 planes that operate on average 2,200 flights every day. Personally I believe that the Airline should not have reacted immediately and unpaid leave of 1 year is actually worse than terminating the employment. Additionally since Stanley had already approached her supervisor about the issue, something could have been worked out so that other stewardess’ can serve the alcoholic drinks while she can deliver other non alcoholic drinks or snacks which do not include alcohol.
Source: Arab News
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