Skip top navigation Skip to content

Print   Email  Share


EEOC, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, and EEO Committee of ABA Section on Labor and Employment Law to Host CRA 50th Anniversary Event on Workplace Sex Discrimination on Oct. 23

Panel Will Explore Flight Attendants' Pivotal Role in Enforcement of Title VII Prohibition Against Sex Discrimination

CHICAGO -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law's Institute for Law and the Workplace, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law will host The Civil Rights Act @ 50: "The Pioneering Role of Flight Attendants in Fighting Sex Discrimination," on Thursday, Oct. 23 at Ogilvie Auditorium, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law (565 West Adams Street, Chicago).  The event will begin at 10:00 a.m., and doors will open at 9:30 a.m.

The event will explore the pivotal role flight attendants played in the enforcement of the prohibition by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against sex discrimination in the workplace.  The program will include remarks from Chair Jenny Yang and Commissioner Victoria Lipnic of theU.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Dean Harold Krent of the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, and other sponsors.

Commissioner Lipnic will also moderate a panel with Mary Celeste Lansdale Brodigan, plaintiff in Lansdale v. United Air Lines, Inc.; Mary Pat Laffey, plaintiff in Laffey v. Northwest Airlines, Inc.; Patricia Friend, former international president, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO; Sonia Fuentes, former attorney, Office of General Counsel, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Kathleen Barry, author, Femininity in Flight: A History of Flight Attendants; and Mary Rose Strubbe, professor of law and assistant director, Institute for Law and the Workplace, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Panelists Mary Celeste (Lansdale) Brodigan and Mary Pat Laffey brought groundbreaking cases against the airline industry during the early days of Title VII enforcement.  Lansdale challenged and overturned United's policy of discharging female, but not male, employees upon marrying.  Laffey, a case brought under Title VII and the Equal Pay Act, resulted in findings that Northwest treated male and female flight attendants differently in areas of hiring, pay, promotions, benefits, and weight monitoring.

The event will also feature excerpts from the Association of Flight Attendants' documentary "Turbulent Romance: The History of AFA." 

This event is free and open to the public.  Registration is not required.  Please contact with non-media inquiries,, 202-663-4191 with media inquiries for EEOC, and, 312-906-5251 with media inquiries for Chicago-Kent. View the flyer for this event at and learn more information at

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the agency is available at