Free Speech Takes A Win: Pro-Life Flight Attendant Reinstated After Judge Order

By Ryan Canady | Friday, 09 December 2022 22:45
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Southwest Airlines fired airline attendant Charlene Carter from a job that she described as her "dream job" for expressing pro-life views, reports the Blaze.

Carter went through a six-year ordeal fighting the airline and the Transport Workers Union Local 556 before finally winning her case in court. This week, the judge ruled in Carter's favor and ordered that the airline reinstate her with her seniority and fully restore her benefits.

In July, a judge agreed that Carter was wrongfully terminated from her job and awarded her a 5.1 million dollar verdict. The breakdown is $950,000 from Local 556 of the Transport Workers Union and $4.15 million from Southwest Airlines.

The Dallas Morning News reported that U.S. District Judge Brantley Starr had to reduce the amount of the verdict to $810,180, including about $150,000 in back pay. Judge Starr was appointed to his job by President Trump in 2019. Federal discrimination laws limit the amount that companies can pay in cases like this, which was why Judge Starr had to reduce the verdict amount in total.

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The Chicago Tribune reports that Carter will ultimately receive $300,000 in compensatory and punitive damages from Southwest Airlines and another $300,000 from the union. According to the newspaper, Carter will receive another $60,000 in prejudgment interest.

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Starr wrote that Carter would ultimately prefer to have her job back. She will receive these damages, but she would rather simply be working for the airline in the role she had before all of this took place.

Blaze News reports that the court issued a statement that said the following about the situation:

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"Court reinstates Carter to her former position. ... If the Court opted for front pay over reinstatement, the court would complete Southwest's unlawful scheme. Reinstatement is appropriate."

The judge also told the defendants to refrain "from discriminating against Southwest flight attendants for their religious practices and beliefs, including — but not limited to — those expressed on social media and those concerning abortion."

Due to this court ruling, Southwest will have to remind all employees that they are NOT permitted to discriminate against them in any way for their political beliefs or the expression of those beliefs.

The judge also said the following catchy line about the case:

"Bags fly free with Southwest. But free speech didn't fly at all with Southwest in this case,"

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