Lacey Smith: Alaska Airlines allegedly fires attendant for questioning Equality Act
Alaska Airlines is facing a lawsuit after two flight attendants were fired for allegedly questioning the company's support of the Equality Act. One of the two attendants has been identified as Lacey Smith and the other has chosen to stay anonymous. The ex-employees are now accusing the airline of discrimination. Backing them is a law firm called First Liberty that works mainly for religious liberties. The firm filed the charges at the Seattle field office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on August 18 on behalf of the former employees.
The allegation against Alaska Airlines comes less than a week after a TikToker was 's**t shamed' for crop top on one of their flights, before being escorted off the plane. Previously, the company was also under fire for asking a gay couple on one of their flights to leave so that another straight couple could sit together. Meanwhile, the airlines also came into light when Landon Grier, a Colorado man, urinated in the cabin after refusing to wear a mask during flight.
In their federal complaint against the airlines, First Liberty says on behalf of Smith and her anonymous former colleague that the airlines' discharge notice says "defining gender identity or sexual orientation as a moral issue... is... a discriminatory statement." Smith had faced retaliation after reportedly asking on an online company forum, "As a company, do you think it's possible to regulate morality?" The comment, although liked by many of Smith's fellow employees, was subsequently taken down.
Meanwhile, the other employee had reportedly asked: "Does Alaska support: endangering the Church, encouraging suppression of religious freedom, obliterating women rights and parental rights?" Shortly after, the two were fired. "The corporate canceling of Lacey Smith and the other flight attendant really makes a mockery of federal civil rights law that protects religious Americans from discrimination in the workplace," said David Hacker, attorney and director of litigation for First Liberty, in an interview with Newsweek. "If we can't do what our federal civil rights say then they don't really mean anything."
Smith was 'shocked' by the penalty granted
Smith told the outlet: "I was shocked that the airline I loved working for fired me for asking a question about something the airline asked us to support. I thought my question would receive the same level of respect that I give to others. It's frightening to think that Americans can lose their jobs for simply asking questions about important issues." The Equality Act, also dubbed the House Resolution 5, was signed by POTUS Joe Biden on his first day as an Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.
All discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation as well as gender identity in all areas, including public accommodations and facilities, or "education, federal funding, employment housing, credit and the jury system," are prohibited under the Equality Act. " It more specifically defines and includes sex, sexual orientation and gender identity among prohibited categories of discrimination and segregation." Complaining of gender identity disputes and religious concerns, Hacker claimed the act "would change and negatively impact the protections Americans already have under the laws."