Alaska Airlines has been accused by two former employees of anti-religious discrimination after the corporation fired them for asking questions about the company’s promotion of the Equality Act, an issue the company itself had proposed for discussion on a type of chat forum.
According to First Liberty Institute, the formal complaints have been filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and charge the company discriminated against the two flight attendants because of their “Christian beliefs.”
The former employees’ union is also named, as it was accused of joining in the company’s agenda against the employees.
Alaska Airlines did not respond to a WND request for comment.
According to the Heritage Foundation, the proposed legislation would penalize Americans who don’t affirm gender ideology, compel individuals to speak messages with which they disagree, would close down charities unless they relinquished their religion, allow for males who call themselves females to participate in sports events designated for girls or women, would coerce medical professionals to perform body-mutilating surgeries when told to, would jeopardize parental rights and “enable sexual assault.”
The company had announced its support for the legislation, and opened a forum for comments.
Two individuals, both employed by the airline at the time, accepted the company’s invitation to comment and raised various questions about the company’s support and the bill itself.
They were fired.
One dismissal notice explained that considering “gender identity” a “moral issue” was, in itself, a “discriminatory statement.”
Another question involved religious freedom, and prompted the company to fire the commenter.
“The corporate ‘canceling’ of our clients by Alaska Airlines makes a mockery of laws that protect religious Americans from employment discrimination,” said David Hacker, director of litigation for First Liberty Institute. “It is a blatant violation of state and federal civil rights laws to discriminate against someone in the workplace because of their religious beliefs and expression. Every American should be frightened if an employer can fire them for simply asking questions based on their religious beliefs about culturally important issues.”
The corporation had posted its endorsement of the volatile Equality Act on an internal message board in early 2021, and the two flight attendants responded with their concerns about its impact on religious liberty and more.
The complaints to the EEOC point out, “[Our clients are] firmly committed to equality and diversity and always treating others with kindness and respect. [They] simply sought clarification of the airlines’ position, yet after asking [their] question[s] in response to the company’s invitation, [they were] fired. In firing [our clients], Alaska Airlines discriminated against them on the basis of religion, perpetuated a hostile work environment, failed to grant them a religious accommodation allowing them to express their opinions on the same basis as other protected classes, and retaliated against them.”
The complaints both included similar charges against the corporation, based in Seattle: “Alaska Airlines discriminated against me because of my Christian beliefs and religiously motivated conduct, created a hostile work environment, and retaliated against me for raising concerns about religious suppression. Alaska Airlines discriminated against me by terminating me because of my religious beliefs. The Airline created a hostile work environment for people with religious concerns about the Equality Act by calling the concerns hateful and attempting to portray religious employees as hateful. It further created a hostile work environment for religious people by counseling me not to speak about religion. When I requested a religious accommodation to be allowed to express my concerns as other employees expressed theirs, Alaska Airlines summarily denied it. Alaska Airlines retaliated against me for expressing concerns about religious discrimination.”
The airline specifically signaled “that people of faith are not welcome,” by creating a conversation forum about the Equality Act, but then closing that forum “to people of faith who are concerned about religious discrimination.”
That, the complaints charge, amounts to “hostility toward people of faith.”
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