Flight attendant awarded $5.3M after being fired over pro-life messages to union president

Southwest Airlines/ Facebook

A pro-life flight attendant who was fired for calling out the president of a labor union to which she did not even belong is enjoying some sweet payback.

Charlene Carter was not even a member of Transport Workers Union Local 556 when she worked for Southwest Airlines in 2017; she was not on the same page with its social and political causes and had left it in 2013. She still had to pay union dues as part of her employment with Southwest, however.

When Carter learned in 2017 that union president Audrey Stone had used union dues to attend the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, D.C., which was supported by Planned Parenthood, and that other union members had been granted schedule changes to attend the event as well, she directed some social media messages at Stone.

“This is what you supported during your paid leave with others at the Women’s March in D.C.,” she told Stone in a Facebook message, reported the Dallas Morning News. “You truly are despicable in so many ways.”

Stone went straight to Carter’s employer, the airline, to get some revenge. The flight attendant was dismissed her a week later and filed suit not long after.

The jury, however, ruled that her dismissal violated her right to advocate against her union. She was awarded $4.15 million in back pay and for pain and suffering, and jurors declared that the union should pay another $1.15 million.


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