Alaska Airlines accused of 'canceling' flight attendants for expressing religious beliefs

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Two Alaska Airlines employees are filing a federal complaint alleging that the company retaliated against them for questioning its support of the Equality Act.

First Liberty Institute, which represents the employees, alleges that the company said "[d]efining gender identity or sexual orientation as a moral issue … is … a discriminatory statement."

That was allegedly part of a notice of discharge for flight attendant Lacey Smith, who had asked in a company forum: "As a company, do you think it's possible to regulate morality?" Several Alaska Airlines employees liked Lacey's comment, which was later taken down by the airline's online forum.

Another employee, who is choosing to remain anonymous, purportedly asked: "Does Alaska support: endangering the Church, encouraging suppression of religious freedom, obliterating women rights and parental rights? …."

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Both were allegedly questioned by airline authorities and eventually fired. 

First Liberty, a law firm focused on defending religious liberty, announced Wednesday that it filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on Aug. 18 on behalf of the former flight attendants.

"The corporate ‘canceling’ of our clients by Alaska Airlines makes a mockery of laws that protect religious Americans from employment discrimination," David Hacker, director of litigation for First Liberty Institute, said Wednesday.

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"It is a blatant violation of state and federal civil rights laws to discriminate against someone in the workplace because of their religious beliefs and expression. Every American should be frightened if an employer can fire them for simply asking questions based on their religious beliefs about culturally important issues."

Alaska Airlines did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request for comment. 

The airline's harassment policy shared with Fox News states: "Alaska Airlines promotes healthy and honest discussions in the workplace on issues of diversity and inclusion. These conversations are a vital part of learning and seeking to understand as well as providing equal access to opportunity and creating a workplace that embraces individuality and uniqueness."

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