A Muslim flight attendant says she was suspended by airline ExpressJet for refusing to serve alcohol, a practice she says is against her religious beliefs. Charee Stanley filed a discrimination complaint in Detroit with the Equal Employment Opportunity commission, in an effort to get reinstated to her job, CNN reported.
Stanley, 40, had worked for ExpressJet for three years prior to her suspension. About two years ago, she converted to Islam and was able to work out an arrangement with co-workers as a workaround to accommodate alcoholic beverage orders from passengers, according to WWJ-AM. However, Stanley was later suspended after another attendant filed a complaint on Aug. 2, which also referencing her headscarf and books with foreign writings, according to Lena Masri, an attorney for the Council of American Islamic Relations Michigan.
"What this case comes down to is no one should have to choose between their career and religion and it's incumbent upon employers to provide a safe environment where employees can feel they can practice their religion freely," Masri told CNN.
Following the complaint, ExpressJet sent a letter to Stanley on Aug. 25, which revoked her religious accommodation and placed her on administrative leave for 12 months. Following the period, her position could be terminated, according to the Council of American-Islamic Relations.
"I don't think that I should have to choose between practicing my religion properly or earning a living," Stanley told CBS News. "I shouldn't have to choose between one or the other because they're both important."
ExpressJet, which is based in College Park, Georgia, issued the following statement to CNN:
"At ExpressJet, we embrace and respect the values of all of our team members. We are an equal opportunity employer with a long history of diversity in our workforce. As Ms. Stanley is an employee, we are not able to comment on her personnel matters."