Thursday, June 22, 2017

Israeli Court Says El Al May Not Ask Women To Change Seats To Accommodate Religious Concerns of Male Passengers

According to the New York Times, an Israeli court in Jerusalem yesterday ruled that El Al Airline's policy of asking women passengers to move seats in order to accommodate religious beliefs on modesty of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men violates Israel's anti-discrimination laws.  Requests for seating changes by male passengers who are concerned about inadvertent physical contact have delayed flights in recent years.  According to the Times:
In discussions outside the courtroom, the two sides in the case agreed on a judgment proposed by the judge, declaring that it is forbidden for a crew member to ask a passenger to change seats at the request of another passenger based on gender. El Al agreed to tell its cabin staff in writing about the prohibition within 45 days, and to provide training in how to deal with such situations within six months.
The court also awarded plaintiff, 83-year old Renee Rabinowitz, damages equivalent to $1800(US). [Thanks to Steven H. Sholk for the lead.]