Chelsia Blackmon former Spirit Airlines flight attendant sues for being fired for being too overweight to fit in plane jump suit. Cites racial discrimination.
A flight attendant who claims she was wrongfully terminated by Spirit Airlines on account of her ‘being too overweight to buckle into her jump suit’ has filed a lawsuit against her former employer, citing racial discrimination.
Chelsia Blackmon who is African-American, accused the airline of discrimination for not being offered the same treatment as a white colleague who also could not ‘fit’ in the jump seat.
The complaint, filed on November 16 in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, stipulated that when Blackmon was hired she’d completed and passed all training and compliance protocols, including being strapped into a jump seat.
Blackmon was then assigned to Spirit’s Airbus 319 aircraft on September 3 but could not strap herself into the seat and was not allowed to get an extender belt. She was asked to leave the plane and was put on administrative leave, according to court documents cited by Business Insider.
According to the complaint, a meeting was held on September 13, 2021, where Blackmon was asked to show that she could buckle into a jump seat.
Could flight attendant still perform function and maintain passenger safety?
On October 8, the flight attendant was asked to buckle into a jump seat that was too small for her, according to the complaint. Blackmon was withheld from service five days later and fired one month after that for being unable to fit in the seat.
Blackmon is accusing Spirit of race discrimination. According to Blackmon’s attorneys per the complaint, a Caucasian flight attendant who was also in the early stages of her career at Spirit had the same problem but was given several months before she had to prove she could ‘fit’ into the jump seat.
The complaint claims because of ‘discriminatory and illegal differential treatment based upon her race,’ Blackmon has suffered ‘lost wages, compensatory damages, mental anguish and suffering.’
The flight attendant also said that the airline’s actions ‘were in willful and malicious and in reckless disregard of her civil rights.’
Blackmon is seeking back pay, damages, damages and legal costs in a trial by jury.
Of question, Blackmom’s weight withstanding is whether the flight attendant could still have performed her assigned function and maintain passenger safety?
Spirit Airlines and Blackmon’s attorney to date have declined to respond to media overtures for comment.