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United Airlines is at the center of a racial discrimination lawsuit, filed in San Francisco’s U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Tuesday (May 29). Twelve Black pilots employed by the company allege to have been repeatedly looked over for promotions because of the color of their skin.

The men filed the suit against the airline’s parent company, United Continental Holdings. “The struggle for inclusion at United Airlines is a long-standing issue that many have tried to address over a long period of time,” said accuser Captain Leon Miller in a statement. Aside from being racially charged, many of the men believed that the were punished by the company for taking part in a separate federal equal employment case brought against the airline in  2010.

According to the legal documents, United has a history of discriminatory practices, claims of which they vehemently deny. “We believe this lawsuit is without merit and will vigorously defend ourselves,” said the airline.

Racial discrimination in the aviation business has become a heated topic of interest since the TSA enforced a more invasive screening process. Although the security measure is said to be random, Black passengers–like a Texas woman who claims to have been singled out because of her Afro–have complained about constantly being searched. In an attempt to try and curve the discrimination civil rights groups have banded together to create a cell phone application which will allow passengers to report incidents as they occur.





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Photo: USA Today