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« Diet Vindication | Main | In (dis)honor of Tom DeLay »

November 16, 2004

Comments

David

Wouldn't she have a disparate impact argument? Most (I think) Flight Attendants are female, so the rule would apply to mostly women. In the google cache, the pics I saw were pretty tame (one grabbing her but at a costume party, and her sitting cross-legged on top of the seats). What would a guy have to do to get fired and still be in his uniform? It is, after all, Delta issued garb.

g

I think I'd be more likely to fly Delta after seeing her pictures, so I'm not exactly sure why Delta thinks that her pictures are a bad thing.

Bren

To prove disparate impact, though, wouldn't she have to show that it is a pattern or practice of Delta to fire people (in general) for dressing provocatively in their uniforms, a neutral rule which has a harsher impact on women b/c, as David says, there seem to be generally more women flight attendants? That would require, as Tung noted, more evidence of people (men OR women, I believe) being fired for the same thing. Seems to me that individual disparate treatment is her best bet, unless she has that evidence.

Personally, though, from the pictures I saw, they weren't even that bad!

Ron

The pics are suggestive. But, I think not too suggestive. Delta no doubt could object and refuse the flight attendant permission to use photos taken in the cabin or with a uniform unprofessionally worn. Personally, I would have reprimanded her and given her a chance to take the pictures off the website. My hunch is that rather than face the uncertainty of a jury trial, Delta will settle without admitting any fault.

Sarah

Pretty hypocritical, if you ask me. Flight attendants have to flash the legs, keep the figure trim, have perfect hair and makeup--all aspects of sexual attractiveness--but when a flight attendant goes just a teeny bit further to make it sexy, she's fired.

The same goes for being intelligent--but don't be too intelligent or knowledgeable. You'll threaten your boss and run the risk of not being promoted--or even fired.

Federalist No. 84

Flight attendants have to flash the legs, keep the figure trim, have perfect hair and makeup--all aspects of sexual attractiveness--but when a flight attendant goes just a teeny bit further to make it sexy, she's fired.

Uh, it seemed to got a lot farther. There were pretty risque, IMHO. They failed my, "What if someone who did not know me saw me looking at them?" test.

If the blogger had been a Victoria's Secret model, the photos would have been fine. But Delta has an image to preserve, even if it preserves that image only at the margins. I imagine Delta would not be keen on pilots posing in just their slacks and hat. It's one thing to stand and look handsome or beautiful. It's another thing to try looking sexually provocative.

There is a difference, you know it, I know it, and Delta knows it.

tom

So perhaps Delta draws the line between 'sexy' and 'available.' If that's the case, she probably crossed the line because she certainly has lavatory eyes in some of those pictures. Nevertheless, while Delta might be on solid legal ground in firing her, it's a disaster for public relations, and an airline teetering on the brink of bankruptcy doesn't need any more dings to its public image. A letter asking her to remove the photos from her web site would have been much more apporpriate, effective and, best of all, quiet. I can't help but think there's more to the story that we're not being told because otherwise, it seems like Delta used a howitzer to swat a fly.

Federalist No. 84

[A]n airline teetering on the brink of bankruptcy doesn't need any more dings to its public image.

Tom - you are right and I amend my position as to the firing (though the pictures were still out of line). If I were Delta, I'd fire the lawyer who told me to fire the blogger.

Delta will not be open to broad discovery requests to see if they treated the blogger differently from men. This is really stupd, since there is probably damaging evidence - at least as to other employment practices - somewhere in its files.

Tung Yin

If I were Delta, I'd fire the lawyer who told me to fire the blogger.

I highly doubt that outside counsel (or even in-house counsel) would have recommended firing the blogger. We lawyers are a cautious lot, and termination is a risky move. The consensus here in the comments seems to be that it would have been better to have directed her to remove the pictures, and I tend to think that's what lawyers would have recommended.

Federalist No. 84

I highly doubt that outside counsel (or even in-house counsel) would have recommended firing the blogger.

Hmmm...they fired someone without first talking to someone in the legal department? Then, well, I'd fire that person!

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