The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) recently filed a federal lawsuit against ExpressJet Airlines on behalf of a Muslim flight attendant for revoking a reasonable religious accommodation and wrongfully suspending her from her employment.
The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan.
Based upon her sincerely-held religious belief that prohibits her from serving alcohol, Ms. Charee Stanley was directed by the company to work out an arrangement with the other flight attendant on duty to accommodate passenger requests for alcohol. Meanwhile, Ms. Stanley was to accommodate other customer requests. The accommodation did not pose any hardship on ExpressJet Airlines whatsoever. Nonetheless, on August 25, 2015, ExpressJet Airlines revoked its religious accommodation and placed Ms. Stanley on administrative leave for 12 months, after which her employment may be administratively terminated.
On September 1, 2015, CAIR-MI filed an EEOC complaint on behalf of Ms. Stanley. The EEOC issued Ms. Stanley a right to sue letter after conducting an investigation. The EEOC’s findings were inconclusive.
“Employers are obligated to provide reasonable accommodations of the religious beliefs of their employees,” said CAIR-MI Legal Director Lena Masri. “ExpressJet wrongfully revoked the religious accommodation it directed Ms. Stanley to follow, and retaliated against her for following it by wrongfully suspending her employment.”