Man alleges Republic Airways denied him employment

Indianapolis – The Indiana Civil Rights Commission’s (ICRC) Deputy Director Akia Haynes announced today that the agency has issued a finding that there is probable cause to believe that Indianapolis-based Republic Airways denied a male applicant the opportunity to interview for a position because of visible tattoos on his forearms.

An investigation stemming from a May 29, 2012 Complaint filed with the ICRC found that the Complainant was qualified for the position of Flight Attendant, yet denied the opportunity to interview for the position due to visible tattoos on his forearms.  However, the available evidence provided reveals that the tattoos could be concealed under the long-sleeved standard uniform shirt for Flight Attendants.

“The issue before the Commission is whether the alleging party was denied an interview based on his gender,” said Haynes. “Records show that female employees were permitted to sign a waiver indicating they would agree to conceal their tattoos.  However, the alleging party was informed he was not eligible to sign this waiver.”

In order to prevail, the Complainant must show that:(1) he is a member of a protected class; (2) he applied for and was qualified for the position; (3) he was denied the position; and (4) a less qualified female applicant was selected or the job remained open.

A finding of probable cause does not resolve a civil rights Complaint.  Rather, it means the State has concluded its preliminary investigation and determined that there is sufficient evidence to support reasonable suspicion that the Indiana Civil Rights Law has been violated.  Indiana Civil Rights Law provides remedies, including compensatory damages and injunctive relief, such as changes in the employer’s policies and training.

The Indiana Civil Rights Commission enforces the Indiana civil rights laws and provides education and services to the public in an effort to ensure equal opportunity for all Hoosiers and visitors to the State of Indiana. For more information, contact Brad Meadows, ICRC Communications Manager, at (317) 232-2651.