Gay Pilots File Discrimination Suite


Gay Pilots File Discrimination Suite

December 20, 2005, The Atlanta Human Relations Commission,  that was created to handle complaints based on a city ordinance banning discrimination in private employment, housing or public accommodations on the basis of a variety of categories, including sexual orientation ruled against the evidence. Benisch a gay pilot with Atlantic Southeast Airlines reported that during his five-year employment as an ASA pilot, he was subjected to a hostile anti-gay environment, which culminated when his flight training records were altered. He left the airline in 2004.

The Atlanta Human Relations Commission ruling indicated “ASA did not violate the city of Atlanta’s anti-discrimination ordinance.” The commission, in a finding  ruled that Benisch did not establish that ASA created or maintained a pervasive atmosphere of anti-gay sentiment that motivated discriminatory treatment nor did Benisch face an anti-gay work environment at an Atlanta-based airline. The commission also ruled on a second gay pilot, Zeke Losch who also flew for Atlantic Southeast Airlines who alleged he was as well subjected to sexual discrimination in the work place, the commission again ruled in favor of Atlantic Southeast Airlines.

Losch, claimed that in October 2000, he heard anti-gay jokes made during his ASA training that only escalated during his time with the airline. He also alleged that a sign, which implied he would do sexual favors for money, was placed on him as he slept in a pilot’s lounge.

The commission's report indicated Atlantic Southeast Airlines  had deficiencies in their anti-discrimination policy and recommended ASA implement a “meaningful diversity training program.” The commission also said the airline did a poor job of investigating complaints based on sexual orientation.

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