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Continental Airlines, Pilots and Pilot Applicants file class action lawsuit

Lawsuit against Airline alleges multiple violations of the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Act

Press Release

Continental Airlines pilots and pilot applicants filed a class action lawsuit on July 2, 2009 against Continental Airlines detailing numerous instances of mistreatment by Continental of its military and Guard employees and employee applicants.

Asserting four causes of action, the Complaint alleges violations of the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Act (“USERRA”) in relation to Continental’s harassing and discriminatory conduct towards its military and Guard employees and employee applicants. The civil action, which also requests a jury trial and damages, was filed in the Southern District of California. The Plaintiffs have retained Pilot Law, P.C., a well-respected law firm experienced in USERRA litigation, and The Law Offices of Charles M. Billy and Lindsay & Stonebarger as experienced co-counsel.

According to the 31-page Complaint, members of Continental’s management team harassed military pilots telling them, among other comments, “Your commander can wait. You work full time for me. Part time for him,” “You take too much military leave” and “You need to choose between CAL and the Navy.” Nine members of Continental’s management are identified throughout the Complaint and include Gary Small, Steve Williams, Lloyd Robeson, Kip Komidor, Geoffrey Bender, Robert Pulvino, Andy Jost and Robert Duboise.

The Complaint further alleges that Continental’s preferential bidding system (“PBS”), through which pilots are assigned their schedules each month, discriminates against military pilots by constructing trip assignments around pilots’ military schedules thereby resulting in poorer quality trips that are not in accordance with each pilot’s seniority.

The Plaintiffs’ second cause of action addresses the pilots defined contribution pension plan (the “B-Plan”) and alleges Continental has underpaid members of the plaintiff class by failing to continue the vesting and accrual of pension benefits during periods of military leave performed by members of the plaintiff class.

The fourth and final cause of action is alleged by Andrew Kissinger on behalf of the “Applicant Subclass,” which sets forth allegations that members of the Subclass have been denied employment by Continental due to their affiliation with the military and military service obligations.

For more information, please contact Brian J. Lawler, Esq. at (619) 255-2398 or by email at blawler@pilotlawcorp.com. A copy of the lawsuit can be found here.

For current case status please click here