More than two dozen black pilots at United Continental Holdings allege they are being passed over for management positions and promotions because of their race. The pilots charge that United Continental Holdings’ decision-making regarding employment is “highly subjective.” The lawsuit claims that several black supervisors and minority captains are not afforded the same opportunities for advancement in the company as their white counterparts.
The pilots also say they are assigned part-time, non-management positions when white employees receive full-time, higher-wage positions and are offered full-time employment more frequently.
Nearly half of the pilots involved in the lawsuit filed Tuesday were also complainants in another discrimination suit filed against the airline in 2010. The pilots believe their involvement in the 2010 lawsuit may be part of the reason they are not being considered for management — as a form of retaliation. Some claims of discrimination date as far back as 2009.
The lawsuit asserts that virtually all black employees at United Continental Holdings are in non-management positions. Employees involved in the case are seeking back pay and calling for United Continental Holdings to permanently end discriminatory practices. The lawsuit also alleges that black pilots are regularly excluded form company social gatherings where operating procedures, managerial issues, and corporate advancement opportunities are discussed.
United Continental Holdings released a statement stating that the company does not tolerate harassment or discrimination.
“We believe this lawsuit is without merit and will vigorously defend ourselves,” the airline said.
United Airlines became the world’s largest carrier when they merged with Continental Airlines in 2010.
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