Alaska Airlines Fires Flight Attendants for Questioning Equality Act Support

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Alaska Airlines fired two flight attendants who asked questions about the company’s support for the Equality Act.

First Liberty Institute filed separate charges of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) on behalf of two flight attendants against Alaska Airlines. 

Flight attendant Lacey Smith simply asked the question in a forum created by the airline for employee discussions about the company’s policies, “As a company, do you think it’s possible to regulate morality?” Another flight attendant asked, “Does Alaska support: endangering the Church, encouraging suppression of religious freedom, obliterating women rights and parental rights? ….” 

Accused of “discrimination,” both clients were subsequently investigated, questioned by airline authorities, and eventually fired from their jobs.

“It makes a mockery of our federal laws that protect religious Americans from employment discrimination and Alaska has essentially told religious employees don’t share your mind and don’t speak what you actually think at work,” David Hacker, director of litigation for First Liberty Institute, told the Todd Starnes Show Thursday.

“Every American should be concerned about this, that their employer can fire them for simply voicing their opinion about a culture culturally important issue. I mean, that’s a scary situation,” Hacker added.

You can read the charges here and here.

In its complaints to the EEOC, First Liberty attorneys state, “[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.”

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW AND READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW:

STARNES: Another story to share with you. This involves the cancel culture mob at Alaska Airlines. Some sort of some flight attendants have been fired after asking questions about the airline support of the Equality Act. Here to help us figure this out is David Hacker, director of litigation at First Liberty Institute, and they are handling the case. David, good to have you with us today.

HACKER: Hey, thanks for having me on, Todd.

STARNES: So a little turbulence at Alaska Airlines.

HACKER: That’s absolutely right. Yeah. It seems that the woke cancel culture mob has gotten a hold of Alaska Airlines, and if you simply ask a question at work there, you can be fired.

STARNES: So in a nutshell here, first of all, let’s talk about the Equality Act in a nutshell. What is the Equality Act?

HACKER: So the Equality Act is a piece of federal legislation that Congress is looking at. It would fundamentally change our civil rights laws and remove a lot of protections that religious Americans enjoy under current law.

STARNES: And so this was discussed, I understand, in some sort of an employee forum. And what happened?

HACKER: Yeah. So Alaska Airlines posted its support for the Equality Act in an employee online message board, and it regularly allows employees to comment in that message board on anything that’s posted. And so our client, Lacey Smith, she asked a question, ‘Do you think it’s OK to regulate morality?’ And for that, she was taken off her flight duties and eventually fired by the airline.

STARNES: And that’s it. That’s all she wrote.

HACKER: That’s literally all she wrote…It makes a mockery of our federal laws that protect religious Americans from employment discrimination and Alaska has essentially told religious employees don’t share your mind and don’t speak what you actually think at work.

STARNES: I also understand there are other clients as well. Tell me about their situation.

HACKER: We also represent another flight attendant who also posted in response to this Alaska message board post about the Equality Act. And she simply, you know, shared her thoughts on it. And, you know, doing that again, she was taken off of flight duties taken before the, you know, the star chamber, their Alaska Airlines and fired.

STARNES: I am curious here. And by the way, on the Patriot Mobile newsmaker line, David Hacker from First Liberty Institute. I’m curious, David, what you know, has the airline responded to you? Have they justified what they did to these two workers?

HACKER: So what they initially told these two flight attendants is that their questions and their opinions about the Equality Act, opinions that are shared probably by millions of Americans who question this legislation, their opinions were, ‘discrimination.’ And for that, the airline, you know, ended their employment after, you know, many years with the airline, both of them. And so right now, we have not heard any response to Alaska. We’re kind of in the initial stages of this case, but it’s a critical one for any American who’s concerned about woke corporations canceling them.

STARNES: This is insane. So asking a question and I didn’t see any derogatory comments about the LGBTQ community just asking a legitimate question is now considered a violation of or, you know, religious hostility. That makes no sense to me.

HACKER: Yeah. You know, it’s something where I think every American should be concerned about this, that their employer can fire them for simply voicing their opinion about a culture culturally important issue. I mean, that’s a scary situation.

STARNES: All right, David, where can people go if they want to get more information about the lawsuit and what you guys are doing to help these two flight attendants?

HACKER: Yeah, they can learn more about it if they go to our website, FirstLiberty.org.

STARNES: All right, David, always appreciate the great work you guys are doing out there. And good luck. Let’s hope they’re going to be flying the friendly skies one of these days.

HACKER: Thanks, Todd. We appreciate it.

STARNES: All right. Good guy right there, folks. David Hacker, director of litigation at First Liberty Institute. What a crazy story. But this is where we are right now, where even daring to ask a question about morality could get you fired from Alaska Airlines. Unbelievable.