American Airlines accused by employee of HIV discrimination

By Bree Gonzales | Dec 17, 2018

PHILADELPHIA — A fleet service agent is suing American Airlines, claiming it discriminated against him because of his race and disability.

Kelvin Stewart filed a complaint on Dec. 4 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against American Airlines, accusing the employer of a number of unlawful, intimidating and discriminatory acts, and of creating a discriminatory and hostile work environment for himself based on his race and HIV status.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that between 2017 and April 2018, he received from his manager racist comments and discriminatory remarks about his condition. 

During one of his shifts in or around April 2018, Stewart made his manager aware that he was feeling ill and felt an extreme fatigue, brought about by the complications of his condition, he says.  

As the shift came to an end, his manager allegedly demanded that he unload bags from another plane before he could leave, the suit says. 

Stewart was unable to complete the task because of the exhaustion and had to go home, the suit says. A week later, Stewart was fired for insubordination. 

The plaintiff holds American Airlines responsible because the defendant's conduct of firing him allegedly was pretextual for HIV discrimination. In addition to and/or in the alternative, the discrimination was due to his race.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks to require American Airlines to pay all earnings he would have received but for the discriminatory practices; reinstatement his employment; compensatory and punitive damages, attorneys' fees; and costs of suit. He is represented by Brian Mildenberg of Mildenberg Law Firm in Philadelphia; Matthew Weisberg of Weisberg Law in Morton; and Gary Schafkopf of Schafkopf Law LLC in Bala Cynwyd.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Case No. is 2:18-cv-05219-JCJ.

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Mildenberg Law Firm Schafkopf Law, LLC U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Weisberg Law

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