Delta Flight Attendant Blogger Sues Over Dismissal

September 8, 2005 ( - Delta Air Lines has been slapped with a sexual discrimination suit after a flight attendant got fired for posting photos of herself in uniform as part of her Internet blog.

Ellen Simonetti, whose job was based in Atlanta but lives in Austin, filed the lawsuit in US District Court in Atlanta, saying that male colleagues with potentially insensitive material on their blogs have gone unpunished, the Associated Press reported. Delta had labeled the photos as “inappropriate.”

Simonetti, who was suspended without pay last year and then dismissed a month later, is seeking monetary damages plus reinstatement.

Her blog, dubbed Diary of a Flight Attendant, contains personal life stories and world views. But it was an assortment of “inappropriate photos” that angered the airline, according to the lawsuit.

According to the news report, one photo shows the 30-year-old with her Delta uniform blouse partly unbuttoned, exposing a glimpse of her bra. In another, she is stretched across a row of plane seats, with her skirt somewhat hiked.

Simonetti said she launched the blog partly as therapy to cope with the death of her mother. A day before a scheduled departure to Rome last September, she said, Delta deactivated her.

She submitted a sex discrimination complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC elected not to sue Delta directly but issued a “right to sue letter.”

Her lawsuit also claims Delta sought retribution for her involvement in a drive to unionize flight attendants. The company’s attendants ultimately voted against joining a union.

Simonetti’s blog is at .

Dealing with employer bloggers has become a widespread issue for a number of companies. (See Blogged Down ).