A Major Win After a Long Time Coming for Southwest Employee Charlene Carter, Who Faced Religious Discrimination from TWU Officials

Southwest Airlines employee receives $5.1 million in settlement against TWU officials for religious discrimination

Charlene Carter, an employee for Southwest Airlines, quit the Transportation Workers Union of America after finding out her dues money was going toward political agendas that were against her religious beliefs. Her being fired over her beliefs led to a lawsuit, in which she was granted $5.3 million in damages.

In The Epoch Times, Foundation President Mark Mix gives commentary:

“It’s a good day for courage and it’s a good day for individual freedom and liberty. It’s exciting. It’s been a five-year odyssey for Charlene, and for our legal team,” Mix told The Epoch Times in an interview. […]

Mix said Carter objected to her forced union fees “being used for political purposes” such as attending a Planned Parenthood rally and the Women’s March. She also didn’t like that the union sent out notices to all union members “saying they should oppose the national right to work law,” which he said she supported. […]

In this case, the union complained to the airline about Carter’s political views and got her fired, Mix said. Under current law, the employee is represented in grievance proceedings by the union when a firing takes place, he said.

Both the union and the employer are required “to make accommodations for sincere religious beliefs,” Mix said. The union was in breach of the duty of fair representation “and this is the problem with union monopoly bargaining: when you have a dispute against the union, who do you go to to represent yourself in front of your employer?”

“This is one of those cases where Southwest for some reason decided to really go hard against Charlene,” Mix said, adding she had “no blemishes” on her employment record.

“The idea that the money she’s compelled to pay in order to keep her job was used for political and ideological causes that have nothing to do with her workplace is really an injustice.”

“This is a pretty good indication that both companies and unions need to watch out if they’re going to violate employee rights,” Mix said. If the cases go to jury trials, “there is a punishment for that, and today we saw that.”


If you have questions about whether union officials are violating your rights, contact the Foundation for free help. To take action by supporting The National Right to Work Committee and fueling the fight against Forced Unionism, click here to donate now.

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