Today: 21.08.2018
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20.08.2018

Delta employees claim they were fired for speaking Korean.

Four former Delta Air Lines employees were “singled out and admonished for speaking Korean” despite a combined 50 years of experience for the airline, a lawsuit claims. The women – Ji-Won Kim, Lilian Park, Jean Yi and Jongjin An – saw their collective half-century of service for Delta at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport come to an...
Time: 11:03     Date: 18.07.2018
Last US News: Delta employees claim they were fired for speaking Korean. NY Post 24 - US News

The women – Ji-Won Kim, Lilian Park, Jean Yi and Jongjin An – saw their collective half-century of service for Delta at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport come to an unceremonious end in May 2017 after a manager told An that other agents were complaining about them using their native language, KIRO-TV reported.

“They feel uncomfortable, so please limit speaking Korean,” An told the station, recalling what she claims she was told.

But other customer service employees who worked as desk and gate agents and spoke other languages were never told to limit their speech, according to the lawsuit, which alleges race and national origin discrimination and retaliation.

“Though assigned to work flights to and from Korea, composed of many Korean-speaking passengers, they were singled out and admonished for speaking Korean,” according to the lawsuit recently filed in Washington state’s King County Superior Court.

The women were suspended and ultimately fired by Delta for allegedly offering unauthorized upgrades, but that practice is standard throughout the industry, they claim.

“Offering free upgrades, especially on an oversold flight, is a common practice,” Kim told the station. “But suddenly, it became a reason to be terminated, just for us, for Korean women.”

Other agents, however, do it on a “daily basis” without consequence, attorney Jennifer Song said.

Three of the women are US citizens and Kim expects to become one soon, according to the station. But the treatment they’ve received is not what they expected before coming to the United States.

“Country of freedom, and this is what it got from the company,” Park said. “This is United States. Everybody should be treated equally.”

The women also claim they were sexually harassed numerous times by the same Delta staffer.

“I tried to avoid touching,” Yi said. “So when he came to the gate, I just moved out of sight. I didn’t want to deal with him touching, whispering. It was a daily thing.”

Yi and Kim reported the allegations of unwanted touching to supervisors and said they were told he would be fired if another incident was reported.

“That agent is still working there and the touching has not stopped,” Song told KIRO. “We also suspect that their termination is related to the reporting of sexual harassment.”

Delta officials, meanwhile, said the company does not tolerate workplace discrimination or harassment, but noted that an internal investigation did not substantiate the women’s claims.

“We take allegations of workplace harassment and discrimination very seriously and our investigations into allegations made by these former employees were found to be without merit,” the statement read. “These former employees were unfortunately but appropriately terminated because the company determined they violated ticketing and fare rules. Delta is confident that these claims will ultimately be determined to be without merit.”

Metro

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Opinion

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Living

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Business

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Metro

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Sport

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