The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



Flight School Fired Female Instructor for Complaining About Gender Bias, Federal Agency Charged

TULSA, Okla. – Spartan Aeronautics College will pay $32,500 to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

In its lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma (Case No. 707-cv-00544 ), the EEOC charged that the college’s management treated J.C. Shine, a certified flight instructor, more harshly than her male counterparts and terminated her because she complained about the sex discrimination. Shine, a long-time employee of Spartan, had received excellent reviews from her supervisors, coworkers, and students as a safe and competent instructor. She was terminated under circumstances in which male instructors were not disciplined, according to the EEOC.

“As more women enter what have traditionally been ‘male occupations,’ employers will need to be vigilant in their efforts to provide an equal and fair working environment for women as well as men who choose these careers,” said EEOC St. Louis Regional Attorney Barbara A. Seely. “When the EEOC files suit against an employer for sex discrimination and retaliation, we are reminding all employers that discrimination and retaliation in the workplace is their problem and not the employee’s problem.”

The consent decree settling the suit, filed today for approval by the court, also requires Spartan to provide anti-discrimination training to all of its supervisors and other managers, and to report all allegations of sex discrimination and/or retaliation to the EEOC immediately.

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing the nation’s laws prohibiting discrimination in employment based on race, color, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), religion, national origin, age, disability, and retaliation. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at

This page was last modified on February 19, 2009.

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