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AIR LINE PILOTS ASSN. v. UNITED AIR LINES

October 30, 1979

AIR LINE PILOTS ASSOCIATION, INTERNATIONAL et al., Plaintiffs, against UNITED AIR LINES, INC., Defendant.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: PRATT

DECISION AND ORDER

INTRODUCTION

 Plaintiffs in this action are the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) and several female flight attendants of defendant United Airlines, Inc. (United). Plaintiffs brought this action on behalf of themselves and, pursuant to FRCP 23(b)(2), on behalf of a class defined as all female flight attendants who are or will be employed by United and all former female flight attendants who were employed by United on or after October 14, 1971 and were removed from schedule, suspended, or terminated for failure to meet United's weight regulations.

 Plaintiffs alleged that United engaged in sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e Et seq. (Title VII), in the maintenance and enforcement of its weight regulations for flight attendants. The action was bifurcated for trial, and evidence on the question of whether defendants had violated Title VII was presented to the court without a jury on June 5-9, 1978. By memorandum and order dated June 12, 1979, the court filed findings of fact and conclusions of law.

 The court concluded, Inter alia, that: (1) plaintiffs had failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that United's separate height/weight standards for male and female flight attendants violated Title VII by discriminating on the basis of sex; (2) United's policies regarding exceptions to the weight regulations had discriminatorily favored male Hawaiian stewards; (3) because United had demonstrated special circumstances justifying discriminatory favoring of male Hawaiian stewards with respect to the granting of exceptions, there was no Title VII violation with respect thereto; and (4) plaintiffs had proved by a preponderance of the evidence that United had violated Title VII by enforcing its flight attendant weight standards program in a manner that discriminated against the plaintiff class on the basis of sex.

 The parties thereafter submitted proposed orders setting forth the remedies which they believed should be provided for the violations, and filed briefs and presented argument with respect to the remedy questions. Based upon this information the court now issues the following order and decision relating to these findings and the relief to be awarded to members of the class pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(g).

 ORDER

 I. INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

 1. United, its officers, agents, employees and successors are hereby permanently enjoined from discriminating on the basis of sex in the enforcement of United's flight attendant weight regulations, including any discipline or penalties that may be imposed for violations thereof.

 II. REINSTATEMENT AND BACK PAY TO FEMALE FLIGHT ATTENDANTS DISCIPLINED BY UNITED

 A. Terminated Flight Attendants

 2. United shall within 30 days of this order offer reinstatement at full salary to each female flight attendant who has been terminated between March 24, 1972 and the date of this order for failure to meet United's flight attendant weight standards. The offer shall specify an effective date between 60 days and 90 days from the date of the offer.

 3. For seniority system purposes, any female flight attendant reinstated pursuant to P 2 shall be credited with having been in the continuous employ of United from the date of her termination until the date of her reinstatement.

 4. Any female flight attendant reinstated pursuant to P 2 must comply with United's weight regulations in effect on the date of reinstatement and thereafter.

 5. United may, as a condition for reinstatement, require any female flight attendant reinstated pursuant to P 2 to undergo a program of training in order to update her knowledge and skills to correspond with United's current practices and equipment.

 6. United shall pay to each female whose employment was terminated between March 24, 1972 and the date of this order for failure to meet United's flight attendant weight standards, back pay for the period between the date of her termination and the effective date of the reinstatement to be offered in accordance with P 2 of this order. The amount of back pay shall be the difference between (a) the wages and benefits she would have earned from United during said period had she not been wrongfully terminated and (b) the sum of (i) the amount actually earned, or earnable with reasonable diligence, during said period from other work which would not have been performed had she not been terminated, and (ii) the amount received from unemployment insurance and similar benefits.

 B. Flight Attendants Suspended or Removed from Schedule

 7. United shall immediately restore to flying status, at full salary, each female who is off active flight status on the date of this order because of a suspension or removal from schedule for failure to meet United's flight attendant weight standards.

 8. For seniority system purposes, any female flight attendant who is restored to flying status pursuant to P 7, or who previously lost seniority as the result of a suspension or removal from schedule because of a weight violation between March 24, 1972 and the date of this order, shall be credited with having been in the continuous employ of United from the date of her suspension or removal from schedule until the date of her restoration to flying status.

 9. United shall pay to each female flight attendant who, between March 24, 1972 and the date of this order, lost money because of a suspension or removal from schedule for failure to meet the weight standards, back pay for the period of each such suspension or removal. The amount of back pay shall be the difference between (a) the wages and benefits she would have earned during said period had she not been wrongfully suspended or removed from schedule and (b) the sum of (i) the amount actually earned or earnable with reasonable diligence during said period from other work which would not have been performed had she not been suspended or removed from schedule, (ii) the amount received ...


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