Flight Attendants Applaud DeFazio’s Move to Address Sexual Harassment in Transportation

Washington, DC (May 17, 2018) – Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) President Sara Nelson released the following statement on the ‘‘Stop Sexual Assault and Harassment in Transportation Act,” introduced today by Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee:

“The Stop Sexual Assault and Harassment in Transportation Act is a detailed roadmap for taking on sexual assault and harassment in the transportation sector. Recent results of our Survey of flight attendants confirm sexual harassment and assault remain prevalent in our workplace. We applaud Congressman DeFazio for introducing this legislation to tackle sexual harassment on every mode of transportation. Congress should move quickly on this legislation to give clear instruction to every executive, worker and traveler on all modes of transportation that sexual harassment is not something we tolerate as a country.”

AFA calls attention to key elements of the bill the union has been calling for to eradicate sexual harassment from air travel:

  • Clear policies and procedures to address sexual assault or harassment incidents in transportation
  • Requires airlines, in consultation with labor unions representing personnel, to establish a formal policy on sexual assault or harassment incidents including:
    • a statement indicating that no transportation sexual assault or harassment incident is acceptable under any circumstance;
    • procedures that facilitate the reporting of a transportation sexual assault or harassment incidents;
  • Calls on airlines to prominently display, on the internet website and through the use of appropriate signage, a written statement that advises passengers that the airline has adopted a formal policy on sexual assault or harassment incidents; and informs passengers of the procedure for reporting a transportation sexual assault or harassment.
  • Adds sexual physical harassment to the definition of crewmember interference.
  • Increases the maximum crewmember interference civil penalty to $35,000.
  • Directs the Department of Transportation to collect data annually, establish a clear reporting process and training on reporting procedures.

Last week, AFA released survey findings revealing widespread harassment of Flight Attendants. Over two-thirds of flight attendants experienced sexual harassment during their flying careers. Visit afacwa.org/metoo for the full survey results and results of a 2017 passenger on passenger sexual harassment survey.  

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The Association of Flight Attendants is the Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 72 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 50,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.

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