One flight attendant was officially awarded $5.1 million this past Thursday by a jury, which found that Charlene Carter was fired by Southwest Airlines after over 20 years due to her long-held religious beliefs, most prominently her pro-life viewpoints.
Carter stated her pro-life stance online and shoved back against the Transportation Workers Union of America (TWU) Local 556 union in the wake of the group, which included its president Audrey Stone, making the choice to attend the Women’s March back in 2017 which was held in Washington, D.C. That particular event got its funding from Planned Parenthood, which is the largest abortion mill across the country.
“Today is a victory for freedom of speech and religious beliefs. Flight attendants should have a voice and nobody should be able to retaliate against a flight attendant for engaging in protected speech against her union,” Carter explained on Friday to Fox Business. “I am so humbled and thankful for today’s decision and for everyone who’s supported me these past five years, including the National Right to Work Foundation.”
Mark Mix, the president of the National Right to Work Foundation, called out the union in the wake of the court decision.
“No American worker should have to fear termination, intimidation, or any other reprisal merely for speaking out against having their own money spent, purportedly in their name, to promote an agenda they find abhorrent,” stated Mix, who reportedly chose to be the legal representation for Carter pro-bono.
“TWU union officials still enjoy the enormous government-granted privilege of being able to force airline workers to financially subsidize their activities as a condition of employment,” stated Mix.
“While we’re proud to stand with Ms. Carter and are pleased by the verdict, there ultimately should be no place in American labor law for compelling workers to fund a private organization that violates their core beliefs,” he went on.
The jury issued its verdict in the wake of a trial that lasted over a week in front of Dallas Judge Brantley Starr. It was reported by Bloomberg Law that Starr issues the ruling on May 5th that it was needed for Carter to get a trial over the religious bias claims due to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, retaliation claims due to the Railway Labor Act, and the claims of breach of duty about fair representation.
Southwest has stated its intent to appeal the stated verdict, issuing the claim on Friday that the company “has a demonstrated history of supporting our employees’ rights to express their opinions when done in a respectful manner.”
“Carter could collect $4.15 million from Southwest and $950,000 from the union, mostly in punitive damages, if the verdict stands,” as reported by The Washington Post.