A transgender woman who was sacked from her job as a customer service agent for American Airlines has suddenly dropped a lawsuit against the carrier for alleged discrimination and unlawful termination.
Monte Johnson, who was born male but identifies as female, worked at Los Angeles International Airport for seven years but was sacked in 2018 for what the airline claimed were “multiple, serious violations of company policy.”
Johnson’s lawyers, however, claimed she suffered retaliation at the hands of her managers after she made a formal complaint of gender discrimination against her coworkers who made frequent inappropriate comments about her being transgender.
Last Friday, Johnson’s lawyers were back in the Los Angeles Superior Court where the suit had been filed to ask for the case to be dismissed with prejudice. Under these circumstances, the suit cannot be ‘revived’ at a later date.
The papers did not say why Johnson was dropping the legal action against her former employer, but the two sides had recently agreed to mediation raising the possibility that an out of court settlement was reached.
During her time working for American Airlines, Johnson claims colleagues frequently addressed her as “he/him” and one colleague repeatedly asked whether she had begun her “sex change yet”.
But when Jonhson reported the allegations to her manager, she claims they started to micro-manage her and would frequently reprimand for any perceived mistake she made.
In one incident, Johnson says she asked by a passenger to access his personal data but she accidentally accessed the wrong information and phoned that passenger by mistake. Despite immediately terminating the call, Johnson claims her manager started retaliating against her based on her gender identity.
In another example of the alleged discrimination, Johnson claims she was reprimanded after she let a passenger wearing a political slogan t-shirt board a flight.
A complaint was filed by a passenger and Johnson was found to be at fault.
Johnson says the harassment got progressively worst and she eventually made a complaint with her union. She was fired a short time later.
In a statement, American Airlines says it has an “unwavering commitment to its LGBTQ team members and we’re committed to providing a safe and comfortable environment for everyone who works at our airline.”
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.