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Muslim flight attendant sues ExpressJet after being fired for refusing to serve alcohol to passengers

By Mason White 4:44 AM August 11, 2016
Charee Stanley 

By: Tanya Malhotra
(Scroll down for video) An airline based in Atlanta, Georgia, was slapped with a discrimination lawsuit after being accused of firing a Muslim flight attendant for refusing to serve alcohol to passengers, according to court documents filed in Michigan.

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) recently filed the federal lawsuit against ExpressJet Airlines on behalf of the 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, Charee Stanley was directed by the company to work out an arrangement with the other flight attendants on duty to accommodate passenger requests for alcohol.

Stanley was ordered to accommodate other customer requests.

The accommodation did not pose any hardship on ExpressJet Airlines whatsoever, according to Stanley.

Nonetheless, ExpressJet Airlines revoked its religious accommodation and placed Stanley on administrative leave for 12 months, after which her employment may be administratively terminated.

Stanley believes that she was terminated after another flight attendant complained about her hijab, books in Arabic and refusal to serve alcohol.

“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 Stanley to follow, and retaliated against her for following it by wrongfully suspending her employment,” Masri added.

Stanley is seeking to get her job back, payments for economic, emotional and punitive damages, as well as compensation for attorney’s fees.