CHICAGO — A former diversity manager at United Airlines is suing the company, claiming she was discriminated against.
The lawsuit also alleges the Chicago-based airline might not fully be committed to making diversity “part of its DNA,” like it claims.
Antoinette Ivy was a manager for diversity and inclusion within the human resources department at United Airlines. In her lawsuit filed earlier this week, Ivy claims she was the only Black manager in the department and that all her bosses were white.
Ivy argues despite good reviews for nine years at the company, she was fired in Nov. 2019 after complaining she was being treated differently because of her race.
In her lawsuit, she described an alleged video her boss played in a meeting as being “derogatory and racist.” She claims it showed a stereotyped portrayal of an African American man as being angry, speaking poor English and bullying co-workers to get his way.
The white people in the room laughed while Ivy felt disrespected and embarrassed, according to the lawsuit.
She also claims a senior leader at United instructed that an internal demographic be changed to make it appear the airline was doing better with diversity hiring efforts than they actually were.
In the lawsuit, Ivy said a senior management employee in HR said the N-word, but did not receive discipline. United has not yet formally responded to the lawsuit.
“We are very proud of our diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at United. Plaintiff made some allegations for the first time after she learned her role was eliminated through a reorganization. We thoroughly investigated all concerns she raised at that time and were unable to substantiate any violations of our policies,” United said Friday in a statement.
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Ivy had no comment on the case when reached by phone. She is representing herself in court and seeks $250,000 in damages plus her job back.