EEOC Suit Alleges United Airlines Discrimination

June 28, 2002 ( - The federal anti-discrimination agency has gone to federal court on behalf of a female United Airlines ramp worker who claims she was sexually and racially harassed and then given the worst ramp baggage handling assignment in retaliation.

According to an Associated Press news report, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said the retribution included being repeatedly assigned to work entire days handling baggage in the rear pit of planes at one of the busiest gates.

It is a job that cannot be worked standing up and normally is rotated among crew members at hourly intervals. She eventually was fired.


“The racial and sexual harassment here appears to be as egregious as any we see,” said John Rowe, EEOC’s district director in Chicago. “It’s shocking that it’s going on at an employer of the size and sophistication of United. What is just as troubling is that when the victim complained, the employer responded by reaching out to retaliate against her and, finally, by just getting rid of her.”

United spokeswoman Chris Nardella said the airline has “very strict policies against any forms of discrimination,” and does not comment on pending lawsuits.
The EEOC said it filed the suit after settlement efforts broke down.