Woman Sues El Al Over Gender Segregation

Ultra-Orthodox Man Refused To Sit Next to Her

By JTA

Published August 12, 2012.

A Florida woman reportedly is suing El Al for gender discrimination after she was forced to change seats to accommodate a haredi Orthodox man.

Debra Ryder charged that a flight steward moved her to a seat in the back without her prior consent, Israeli media reported. The haredi Orthodox man had refused to sit next to her and then moved into her aisle seat.

Ryder reportedly filed a lawsuit on Aug. 9 seeking some $12,500 in compensation, including for distress. She had obtained an aisle seat for medical reasons, she told Israel Army Radio.

Ryder’s attorney, Orly Erez-Likhovsky of the Israel Religious Action Center, also has sent a letter to El Al demanding that it set and distribute specific instructions to employees on how to act when confronted with such cases, Globes reported.

“Flight attendants are at the service of passengers, they are faced with different requests and they try to help as much as possible,” El Al said in a statement. “The passenger’s complaint will be looked into and dealt with accordingly.”



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