Airline companies can't seem to catch a break lately and frankly their own policies are to blame. Earlier in the year, multiple U.S. airlines were subject to public relations crisis for the mistreatment of passengers.
United Airlines was under fire for forcibly removing a passenger off the plane due to overbooking and prior to that they were called out by angry parents for failing to let two teenage girls board their flight because of they were dressed. Soon after, an American Airlines passenger was kicked off a flight for using the washroom and in a separate incident one of their flight attendants was filmed getting in an altercation with a distressed mother.
Now, just when you began to think that most airlines would learn from past mistakes and try not to repeat them, another international airline is stirring up some controversy for a very peculiar reason.
One of the largest airlines in the world, Iberia, opened up applications for various job positions including flight attendants. Normally jobs that deal with the public require employees to submit background checks, drug tests and even results of medical exams, but Iberia is taking it one step further by asking its female applicants to take pregnancy tests.
Although, it is not unusual to restrict expectant mothers in their final trimester from flying, forcing potential employees to take pregnancy tests is certainly not normal occurrence.
The Spanish airline released a statement to address the controversy and stand by its decision, however the backlash they've since received is costing them more than they imagined.
Click on the next page to find out how the Spanish government responded to the discrimination claims.
The company's health and safety officer followed up on the controversy with a statement in which it was alluded that the pregnancy test policy was in place to protect the airline's female employees.
"Given the controversy, arising from the current protocol in place to protect pregnant women, we will no longer include a pregnancy test in the medical examination for new hires," the officer said.
However, the Spanish law condemns such discriminatory behavior and once the accusations were proven to be true, officials issued Iberia a $28,000 fine.
“There is no reason to justify it,” Unión General de Trabajadores, a major Spanish trade union said in a statement.
After receiving the fine, Iberia said that will not appeal the official decision but they will continue to "put all necessary measures to ensure that pregnant women work with all the guarantees and maximum safety."
"This is an exemplary enterprise in the implementation of policies that facilitate women's access to employment," read the statement.
Hi, Alex. We'd like to take this opportunity to clarify that we never rejected pregnant women. Our /1— Iberia (@Iberia) July 10, 2017
Iberia insisted that they have "never stopped hiring a woman due to the fact of being pregnant, if it fulfilled the requirements demanded for the position." In the last year, they claim to have interviewed 6 pregnant women, five of which were hired.
Do you think pregnancy tests should be a required to qualify for a job? Share your thoughts in the comments!