Female pilot suing former employer after being told she's 'too short' to fly; Gloria Allred represen

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by rk911, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. rk911

    rk911 Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    and in other aviation news...
    https://www.foxnews.com/travel/female-pilot-suing-employer-too-short-fly-gloria-allred

    A female pilot has taken her former employer to court, after the private jet service allegedly fired the woman because she was “too short” to fly one of their planes. Now, the aviator — who stands at 5 feet, 2 inches tall — is suing the company with the help of famed women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred on grounds of gender discrimination.

    In a lawsuit filed August 13 in the Southern District of Ohio, pilot Shari Drerup claimed that she was wrongfully terminated from her “dream” employer NetJets Inc. in March 2017 for being too short to fly the Phenom aircraft, a small private jet.

    The plaintiff further contends that three of her male pilot colleagues, who were deemed too tall to fly the very same plane, were unfairly reassigned to fly other aircraft without consequence.

    Drerup was officially hired by NetJets in December 2016 for a position based in Columbus, Ohio, according to the lawsuit.

    Ahead of the extensive training, the Louisiana native claimed that all the pilots in her class were measured to confirm they would fit into all the aircraft in NetJets’ fleet, ABC 7 reports. Drerup said her height was cleared without issue.

    When Drerup started simulator training in February, however, an instructor informed her that her legs were “too short” to safely reach the pedals.

    "I was told by NetJets, 'Go buy a booster seat. Wear platform shoes. Just make it work,'" the plaintiff recalled.

    "From the moment that they determined that I was too short to fly this airplane, they should have helped me,” Drerup said, as per NBC Los Angeles. “They should have said, ‘You know what, we've got other aircraft in the fleet, you're a good pilot, let's put you in another airplane.’”

    Instead, she was “blindsided” with termination of her employment the next day, the suit states.

    "I went to a meeting the next day, expecting to be transferred to another airplane. And they gave me a termination letter, took my badge, took my credit cards, took my iPad, took my cellphone,” Drerup said. “And treated me like a criminal.”

    The aviator argued that she was cleared to fly two other planes in NetJets’ fleet — though her plea proved unsuccessful.

    Adding insult to injury, Allred claimed that three of the aviator’s male classmates were reassigned to other planes because they had the “opposite” problem, being too tall to pilot the Phenom, which Courthouse News Service describes as a “two-engine light jet [that] can carry up to 11 people.”

    “Why was a male pilot offered that opportunity and Sherry denied it?” Allred asked at a Tuesday press conference. “In my opinion, this constitutes sex discrimination, and is clearly a double standard for male and female pilots.”

    Now, Drerup seeks upwards of $75,000 back pay, front pay or reinstatement from her one-time employer, along with damages.

    When contacted by Fox News for a statement, a rep for NetJets declined to comment on the complaint.

    The private jet service is believed to be the largest operator of private aircraft in the world, with over 750 planes in its fleet.
     
  2. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    There’s gotta be more to the story than her simply being 5’2”. We only hear the side that the plaintiff wants us to hear.
     
  3. wheaties

    wheaties Pre-Flight

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    If they have a good training program that lays out expectations and requirements to progress with a clearly documented failure to progress in her report and not in either of the male pilots they're going to be fine. For them to let it get this far they must think they have that. It's HR 101.

    ...or they're really stupid and she'll get all she's asking for.
     
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  4. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Mama taught me to hear BOTH sides of the story before making a judgment/decision.
     
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  5. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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  6. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Oddly, if you are my height, NetJets makes you demonstrate you're not too tall to fly the Phenom. It's got one of the tightest cockpits in the fleet and you have to show that your legs aren't going to interfere with the poorly designed control yoke.

    The legal issue is whether given a "booster cushion or platform shoes" or whatever, could she have flown (safely and legally) the Phenom. The ADA doesn't require them to put her in another plane (even if she was so qualified).
     
  7. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    Two things:
    A.) since when is "height" a protect class?
    B.) IBTL
     
  8. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    In the picture with the article, she's wearing an aviator shirt with captain's bars so she must have ended up somewhere else and has done well. And if this happened in March 2017, why is she just now suing? Something is off.
     
  9. dreyna14

    dreyna14 Pre-Flight

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    It's not but I think that an employer would have to provide reasonable accommodations. I agree that there may be more to this story.
     
  10. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    I had to laugh at one of the comments:

    "ladies and gentleman , this is your pilot speaking, if you'll turn and look out the windows on either side of the aircraft you will see......MORE THAN I CAN"
     
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  11. Shepherd

    Shepherd En-Route

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    It's not "gender discrimination", it's height discrimination.
    It appears the employer told her how to fix the problem. Not sure if she did anything on her own to resolve the problem.
    "They should have helped me"
    I'd like to hear more of this, but right now all I can hear is "Ding, Ding, Ding, Victim!"
     
  12. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My wife is 4' 9". Just try to tell her she can't do something. I mean something besides getting stuff off the top shelf.....
     
  13. chartbundle

    chartbundle Cleared for Takeoff

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    In reality, there are 3 sides to every story involving 2 parties. Side A, Side B and The Truth, which may or may not be anything like Side A or B.

    Filed under: Things I learned from Babylon 5.
     
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  14. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If it gets to court, then both sides of the story will be heard.
     
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  15. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's an "I'm too short to fly the ****box Phenom so you should jump me up to a nicer plane that other people with more seniority are flying."
     
  16. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    Is that how it works? I always thought that the prosecution yells, jabs their bony fingers in the direction of the defendant, (whose attorney ineffectively bursts out with an outraged “Objection!” every few seconds,) after which the judge sentenced the baddie to life in the electric chair by the neck until dead with an extra lethal injection. I guess I’ve had one too many movies form my impression of our judicial system.
     
  17. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    If they had also fired the men whose height prevented them from safely operating the Phenom, she wouldn't have a leg to stand on regardless of its size. Now I'll agree, if the men in question had also been too short instead of too tall, and then had been reassigned to other aircraft it would certainly make for a much better case on her part. But even without that, it does seem like she at least has a case worth hearing.


    Well from the way the article reads, they told her to go buy a cushion but then fired her the next day. No idea if that's the way it happened but that's the way the article seems to read.

    As someone else said, a company as big as Netjets should have a reasonably competent legal department. So if they're opting for trial instead of settling, they must have something up their sleeve that they're pretty confident about. It'll be interesting to see what that is if/when it ever becomes public. I'm no lawyer, but I would guess that if they can produce documentation of even one incidence where they termed a man for not being able to safely reach the pedals in the Phenom, then the gender question goes out the window and its over for her. But I would also assume or at least hope her attorneys are anticipating that and have a strategy for it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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  18. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm just pointing out that the plaintiff's attorney is not obligated to tell both sides of the story. And I'm pretty sure that NetJets can afford competent counsel.
     
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  19. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well, her gender claim is assinine to begin with, and as I pointed out, there are plenty of men who can't fly the phenom because they get their leg in the way.

    What she's trying to do is play the discrimination card to jump the line at NJ. The phenom is the low plane on the totem pole there.
     
  20. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    That's true. But its also not relevant unless Net Jets can show that they've given some of those men the exact same treatment they gave her. Same as in told them the same thing i.e. 'go buy a cushion or platform shoes, just make it work' and then termed them after a similar amount of time.
     
  21. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach

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    This reminds me of a story about a certain freight company with a certain copilot who was let go during training because he was bad. That certain copilot turned around and sued the company for discrimination. That certain company hired him back and after A LOT of training he was let loose on the line. That certain copilot flew that certain companies airplane into a shallow marsh near a big city in a southern state.
     
  22. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Why do we assume the general media has it right on this story when we complain that they botch every other aviation topic? Probably more to the story.
     
  23. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    Well, the suit alleges 3 males ergonomically unable (in their case, too tall) to fly said ****box, were given precisely the allowance you bemoan: "jumping the line". Good for the goose, good for the gander imo.

    I guess we'll see what Netjets has on her to feel confident that said alleged differential outcome between 3 ergonomically unfit men and one ergonomically unfit woman is not a threat to their discrimination defense. The common case study is that the accuser sucks at flying and the company presumably has the ability to demonstrate in court she was let go for that, and not the height allegation.

    The tall men should have not been allowed to "jump the line" either, if we're gonna go down the path of wanking about seniority potato.
     
  24. iflyvfr

    iflyvfr Pattern Altitude

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    NetJets has had some pretty screwed up management in the past. The reviews on Glass Door today are mixed. Interestingly one poster mentioned gender bias being alive and well because it's a Berkshire Hathaway Co.
     
  25. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Still, this is a safety sensitive job. Otherwise we would see blind folks suing for discrimination because they were not hired for a pilot job.

    I am betting the ''real'' truth will never come out.
     
  26. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    If she could fly to their satisfaction with a booster or platforms, then there is no need to move to another type. Which is what I suspect may have happened. She refused to adapt thinking she could get reassigned like the guys did (who could not adapt).
     
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  27. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    So if she's too short to fly the Phenom, did they ever determine if she was too short to fly whatever it is that the lawsuit alleges the tall guys moved on to?
     
  28. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Get something off the shelf below the top shelf?

    Pretty sure the news is missing at least half the story and given history, probably 75%. I cannot believe that anyone in a corporate job is as dumb as they allege.
     
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  29. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    This. And I'm short (5'3") and female. I used a cushion to fly a King Air 200. The jets I flew weren't a problem size-wise.
     
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  30. FlyingElvii

    FlyingElvii Line Up and Wait

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    What?? You mean there is no ADA-compliant accommodation for blind people to pilot an airplane?
    Did you know that car rental companies have to have a procedure in place, and employees trained on what is required to rent a car to a blind person..
     
  31. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    The button for the overhead reading light in airliners has a braille label on it.
     
  32. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    The buttons on a drive thru ATM have braille on them.
     
  33. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    I was told by someone in the industry that it would cost more to make two versions, and even if they did they didn't know whether the financial institution was going to deploy each machine to walk-up vs drive-up.

    The other consideration is that the sight impaired patron could be in the passenger seat.
     
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  34. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's not how it works. She needs to show that such a standard was uniquely applied to women.
    As stated, fitting your body to the controls of an aircraft DEFINITELY IS a standard applied to both sexes (even if you assume that women are predominately short, and men are predominately tall).
    NetJets won't emply you to fly the Phenom if you're too tall either. The cockpit is ill-designed and it can be hard to move the control stick through its full range if you're over 6'. NetJets makes pilots demonstrate they can slalom their legs out of the way before they'll allow them to be checked out.
     
  35. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Stretch Armstrong is blind? How is the pax going to reach the keypad?
     
  36. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    They don't. Their seeing eye dog that's driving knows their PIN number.
     
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  37. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    No argument. But the men were given the opportunity to train on other airplanes, she was not.
     
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  38. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    Rear passenger seat on the driver's side per chance?!?
     
  39. Gerhardt

    Gerhardt En-Route

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    1. I'm surprised at the hostility toward her.

    2. They just didn't want her and this seemed a valid reason to terminate so they jumped at the chance.

    3. I'm surprised she's asking for so little.
     
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  40. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Wait a minute, there are women pilots??? (Runs and hides).
     
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