A Southwest female pilot sues an airline due to a male co-worker displaying inappropriate sexual behaviour. Despite reporting this, the female pilot has claimed that her co-worker was allowed to continue working, whilst she was grounded by the airline.
A Lewd Affair
In August 2020, a male co-worker who has been named Michael Haak, helped conduct a Southwest flight from Philadelphia International Airport to Florida International Airport. According to female pilot Christine Janning, Michael Haak told her that this was would be his final flight before he retired and therefore he wanted to do something out of the ordinary. It has since been revealed that this was not his last flight as he continued to work for Southwest Airlines for a further three weeks before his retirement. This then led to shocking events as Haak proceeded to lock the cockpit door and undressed out of his uniform in front of Janning. After stripping completely naked, the Southwast airline worker watched pornography on his laptop whilst taking photographs and videos of himself. The shocking incident is said to have lasted for up to 30 minutes.
What happened next?
The Southwest airline female pilot claimed that she reported the incident three months after in November 2020 to the FBI, however, was told that the airline had closed the investigation due to Haak’s retirement. Though, Haak did plead guilty last year to a ‘federal misdemeanour charge of committing a lewd, indecent, or obscene act and was sentenced to probation before this took place. As a result, he faced a probation charge and a $5000 fine. Despite Christine Janning’s claims, Michael Haak’s solicitor has stated that Janning encouraged him to get undressed initially, which she heavily denies.
Southwest Airlines response
Last week, Christine Janning filed a lawsuit in Orange County against Southwest Airlines due to their handling of the situation. Despite being the victim of the situation, the female Southwest Airlines pilot was grounded, to which she claimed caused her financial distress. She also had to engage in “flight simulator training” before being allowed to return to work. According to the Daily Mail, Janning has also admitted that after she was grounded by the airline, they left her stranded in Denver, leading to her having to rely on the FBI to arrange a flight back home to Florida for her.
The airline has since released a statement disapproving this claim.
“We immediately supported Janning by cooperating with the appropriate outside agencies as they investigated.”
It is not yet known where this case will go, yet no hearings have been planned as of yet.