Southern Air’s Official Statement on Lawsuit Brought by Former Employee
Recent news coverage related to a complaint filed by a former employee has led to the spread of significant misinformation online. Several months ago, a former employee made allegations that a coworker made racist and harassing remarks during a verbal exchange on the job.
Immediately upon learning of these claims, Southern Air’s Human Resources department launched a thorough investigation but, despite interviewing several internal and external witnesses, could not find any evidence substantiating the claims made. As a result, and according to company policy, no disciplinary action was taken against either employee. However, out of an abundance of caution, Southern Air did separate the employee assignments. We also provided additional anti-harassment training company-wide to ensure all our employees shared our vision of treating each other with mutual respect.
A few weeks later, the former employee, who had since left our employment, filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) related to the incident. The EEOC gathered statements and facts from all parties, and after reviewing all submitted materials promptly and formally declined to investigate further.
Now, another claim related to this incident has been filed in civil court and the situation will undergo a third review – this time in a court of law. While this latest process is expected to take several months, we anticipate the final determination will be consistent with the outcome of the first two investigations and fact-finding efforts.
Regardless, we want to make clear that there is absolutely no place for racism in our organization. Southern Air is a local business that has been serving this community for 76 years. We are deeply committed to providing an environment where employees from all backgrounds can find success, satisfaction, and even company ownership based on their demonstrated skill, work ethic, and professionalism.
This is a challenging situation, and one that centers around a challenging cultural topic that is much bigger than this alleged exchange, our company, or even this community. While the facts of this incident are further reviewed, we remain fully committed to ensuring a process that protects fairness for all involved.
While this claim plays out in the proper forums, we are keeping our business focused on the needs and satisfaction of our customers, and the many happy employees who loyally serve them each day.
We stand committed, as we always have, to serving our entire community fairly, with respect, and with the highest levels of service. Thank you for your patience and support as it relates to this matter, and, as always, for choosing Southern Air.