A Texas federal jury awarded $5.1 million in punitive damage to a former pro-life Southwest flight attendant who spoke against the abortion stance of a union associated with the airline.
Southwest fired the flight attendant, Charlene Carter, when she posted against the president of the Transportation Workers Union of America (TWU) in 2017.
Airline Company Ordered to Pay Hefty Money
Carter asked the union president, Audrey Stone, about the involvement of other flight attendants in a pro-choice march in Washington, D.C., where the attendees criticized Donald Trump on his abortion stance.
As Stone also participated in the march, which was allegedly sponsored by Planned Parenthood, Carter decided to speak against the protests on her social media.
So, Carter sent videos of aborted fetuses to President Stone on Facebook Messenger after the march.
Southwest management summoned Carter on her pro-life stance, presented her the screenshots of her social media activity, and asked her why she published online posts against the union.
Her social media posts also sparked debate among different flight attendants, as pro-choice attendants started speaking against Carter.
So, President Stone sent an email to all the attendants, including Carter, that the airline “had been disciplining” flight attendants for criticizing each other.
Eventually, the airline fired Carter, accusing her of “harassing” the president and posting “highly offensive” content on her Facebook page. In addition to that, Carter urged other union members to speak against Stone.
This decision of the company urged Carter to challenge her termination in court, which has now awarded her a lucrative sum of money in punitive damages.
JUST IN: A former @SouthwestAir Southwest Airlines flight attendant, Charlene Carter who was fired after a clash with her union president over abortion and other issues won a $5.1 million verdict against the airline and the union. #southwest pic.twitter.com/K81DD78svI
— BNN Newsroom (@BNNBreaking) July 16, 2022
Carter, who joined the union in 1996, resigned from her membership in 2013 when she realized the union’s policies go against her religious beliefs about abortion.
However, she was still required to continue paying union fees to retain her job.
Court Protected Workers’ Free Speech
Speaking to Fox News after the decision, Carter said this verdict will protect the freedom of speech and religious beliefs in the United States.
Carter further added that unions should not be allowed to retaliate against their own people who decide to voice their concerns about any issue.
She also acknowledged the efforts of different groups, particularly the National Right to Work Foundation, which stood by her during the previous five years to make this verdict possible.
"Charlene Carter was fired in 2017 after she sent an angry letter to her union boss pointing out that member dues had been used to send over a dozen other flight attendants to that year’s Women’s March, a rabidly leftwing, pro-abortion event." https://t.co/S32bO1IQa1
— God Bless Elon (@GodBlessElon) July 17, 2022
The president of the National Right to Work Foundation, Mark Mix, asserted workers should never be fired or terminated just because they do not want to see unions paying for the political agenda with workers’ money.
Mix also stated workers should never be forced to pay unions that go against their personal beliefs as a prerequisite of employment.
However, the company announced to challenge the verdict in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, adding the company always supports freedom of speech of employees, when it is exercised in a “respectful manner.”