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Judge Punishes Airline For Suspending Pro-Life Flight Attendant

Southwest Airlines informed The Hill that it plans to appeal a federal judge’s order that requires the company to implement “training on religious freedom” for three of its lawyers.

“We plan to appeal the recent court order and are in the process of appealing the underlying judgment to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals,” Southwest told the outlet.

Judge Brantley Starr issued the mandate earlier this week after a jury determined last year that Southwest had unfairly suspended flight attendant Charlene Carter for a 2017 social media post criticizing abortion.

On top of reinstating Carter and providing her hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, the company is now ordered to have several of its attorneys undergo religious freedom training by the Alliance Defending Freedom.

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The judge, hailing from the federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas, ordered Monday in the 29-page court filing that the required training be completed by Aug. 28.

Starr also ordered that the company pay Carter’s legal fees and correct its statement to employees on their religious freedoms, which the district judge said Southwest has failed to do since last year’s initial ruling.

“Southwest’s notice failed to mention Title VII, that the federal law known as Title VII contains a prohibition, and that prohibition forbids Southwest from discriminating against flight attendants for their religious beliefs,” Starr wrote.

Starr previously cut Carter’s $5.1 million award to $300,000 in compensatory and punitive damages from Southwest and $300,000 from her union. Another $150,000 in back pay and $60,000 in interest are also included.

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