First Liberty wants summary judgment for flight attendants fired for religious views

First Liberty wants summary judgment for flight attendants fired for religious views

First Liberty wants summary judgment for flight attendants fired for religious views

A religious liberty law firm, representing two fired Alaska Air flight attendants, is asking a court to quickly resolve the religious discrimination lawsuit that was filed two years ago after their terminations.

First Liberty Institute was attained in the summer of 2021 by flight attendant Lacey Smith, who was terminated by Alaska Airlines for unwelcomed comments she made about the Equality Act on an online message board used by employees. A second flight attendant, Marli Brown, later joined the First Liberty lawsuit after she, too, was fired for asking if the Equality Act would affect women, religious people, and children.

On behalf of its two clients, First Liberty filed an EEOC complaint alleging both women were fired for religious beliefs not tolerated by the airline’s homosexual-affirming union and upper management, which are named as defendants in the lawsuit.  

Taub, Stephanie (First Liberty) Taub

After the law firm filed a Motion for Summary Judgment last week, First Liberty attorney Stephanie Taub tells AFN the law firm did so because the lawsuit’s discovery process revealed solid evidence of “hostility” toward Smith and Brown because of their Christian faith.

"They've been able to find other jobs,” Taub says of the two plaintiffs, “but it's a very trying experience to go through this process and to see all of the incredible things that were said about our clients behind their backs.”

A request for a summary judgement typically means a plaintiff is requesting a quick ruling from the bench based on the evidence in the case.

In the 33-page motion filed by First Liberty, the law firm says Alaska Airlines acknowledged in its own documents it was firing Smith and Brown because their religious views conflicted with the company’s stance on the Equality Act. In one meeting before Brown's termination, a key manager allegedly stated “you can tell that she’s talking about religious concerns that she may have.”

The union, which is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, is accused of failing to support the women’s request for a religious accommodation and is accused of refusing to represent them in arbitration.

On the internal message board, a union rep commented that both women should be but in a burlap bag and thrown down a well, according to the First Liberty lawsuit.

In a previous AFN story, it was pointed out the firing of the two Alaska Airlines employees demonstrated how the Equality Act was affecting people of faith even before it was signed into law and added LGBT protections to the federal Civil Rights Act.

First Liberty also alleges Alaska Airlines skipped its normal process for termination and its lenient rules about the message board, where controversial comments have been posted but the employee was not terminated. 

"Alaska Airlines fired Marli and Lacey even though it knew that many people of faith have
legitimate, non-discriminatory concerns about the Equality Act," the First Liberty motion alleges. "Their public terminations sent a message."