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A female Southwest Airlines pilot is suing the company, her union, and her colleague, for sexual assault, after he deadbolted the cockpit door on a flight and undressed naked in front of her on an August 2020 flight.

She alleged that Southwest punished her by grounding her after reporting the co-pilot to the company and the FBI, that the company kept him employed despite an alleged history of sexual misconduct, adding that the managers disparaged her in memos. Similarly, she also alleged that the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association connived with the airline and declined to support her.

The co-pilot pleaded guilty last year to a federal misdemeanor charge of committing a lewd, indecent, or obscene act and was sentenced to probation. Michael Salnick, the co-pilot's attorney, said Wednesday that his client disrobed only after Janning motivated him and never did anything else. Southwest expressed its support to Janning and said that it will vigorously defend itself against the lawsuit, AP News reported.

The lawsuit filed last week in Orange County, Florida, said that the pilot had never met the co-pilot until August 2020, when she was his co-pilot on a flight from Philadelphia going to Orlando. She added that the man, a 27-year veteran of the airline, used his seniority rights the previous day to bump another pilot who was scheduled to oversee the flight. She assumed that was because he saw a woman as the assigned co-pilot.

When they reached the cruising altitude on the plane, the co-pilot allegedly told her it was his last flight and that he wanted to do something. According to her, he closed the door, put the plane on autopilot, turned on pornography, and did a lewd act for 30 minutes. He allegedly also took photos and videos of himself, Boston 25 News reported.

She later discovered that the flight she had with him wasn’t his last one and that he flew for another three weeks. She apparently didn’t report the incident right away. She reported what happened on that particular flight about three months later but was informed that since he had already retired, the case was closed. That is when she went to the FBI who charged him.

Furthermore, she mentioned that since she reported the indecent incident to the FBI, Southwest allegedly grounded her and let her get stranded in Denver, Colorado. In that event, the FBI had to book her a flight back to Florida on United Airlines. She also claimed that a manager at Southwest sent a memo to a handful of workers denying her flying abilities, so she went to the union but they allegedly did nothing, ABC News reported.

A drunk JetBlue pilot was reportedly removed from the cockpit of a plane minutes before departure in Buffalo, New York on Wednesday, March. 2. This is a representational image. Pixabay