Two dozen black pilots are alleging that United Continental Holdings, parent company of United Airlines and Continental Airlines, passed over them for managerial promotions because of a racial bias. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday.
United Continental Airlines, the world's largest carrier, promptly denied the allegations and vowed to fight the allegations in court.
The pilots, all of whom are veterans, alleged a long-standing tradition of discriminatory behavior within the company across multiple states according to a Reuters report. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco.
"The struggle for inclusion at United Airlines is a long-standing issue that many have tried to address over a long period of time," Captain Leon Miller, a plaintiff, said in a statement.
Another plaintiff also made a statement: "The company's employment policies involve uncontrolled subjective criteria that are applied in an arbitrary manner, further promoting racial biases and stereotypes to the detriment of many extremely qualified management candidates," plaintiff Capt. Fred Robinson said.
United Airlines replied in its own statement: "United does not tolerate harassment or discrimination of any kind. We believe this lawsuit is without merit and will vigorously defend ourselves."