United Flight Attendants Fired for Watching iPad Video, Sue Airline for $800,000

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United Airlines just can’t seem to keep themselves out of the news for bad publicity. The latest story is that two United Airlines flight attendants were fired for watching videos on their iPad during a flight.

However, they’re claiming discrimination as Ruben Lee and Jeanne Stroup are “more seasoned” crew members who have been flying for a total of 70+ years with the airline.

Per Business Insider,

Ruben Lee and Jeanne Stroup had worked as flight attendants for United Airlines for more than 70 years combined when they were fired in September 2013.

But when a supervisor observed them watching a video on an iPad for 15 minutes and neglecting to wear aprons when serving passengers on a flight from Denver to San Francisco, the airline decided to let them go, the suit says.

Now, Lee and Stroup have been awarded $800,000 in damages, and the duo’s attorney, David Lane, thinks that figure could rise.

Lane argued that United has no system for matching employee misbehavior to an appropriate punishment. He also told Westword about an exchange during the trial that he believes may have helped sway the jury toward Lee and Stroup’s side.

It’s a very interesting case here on whether the crew were in the wrong with being fired. I certainly feel that flight attendants watching videos on their iPad during flight isn’t what they should be doing, as they’re there for the safety of the passengers.

However, neither one of these flight attendants have had any complaints against them in the past, so perhaps a warning for some sort of write-up for the behavior may of been more acceptable.

What are your thoughts on these United flight attendants being fired for watching videos on their iPad? Were they in the wrong and should they have been fired? What if the pilots were caught doing the same? Share your thoughts below.

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  1. Seventy years combined seniority without a complaint, then termination of two union employees for watching an IPAD? This could cost more than the private canine express from Tokyo.

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