Blog Law: Queen Of Skies Vs. Delta

    September 9, 2005

A disgruntled Delta flight attendant has taken legal issue with Delta pushing her out the airlock in the form of a lawsuit. Ellen Simonetti claims sexual discrimination over scandalous photos she posted on her blog.

A nod to online PR guru B.L. Ochman’s “whatsnextblog” for this one. The reason this story could be significant is that it could help define the future of blogs with regard to companies and their employees and what those employees can do with them.

On the blog, Simonetti identified herself as a Delta Employee and she’s posted some photos on the blog Delta considered questionable because she was in a uniform and on an airplane. There are no nude photos and neither uniform nor airplane appear to be marked as Delta upon initial inspection. She’s claiming sexual harassment and that male employees have blogs with considerably more questionable content yet received no punishment and that Delta the company has no policy regarding personal Internet sites.

The story has received new coverage by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and then on the AP wire and USAToday. She’s filed a press release on her website.

“Ms. Simonetti’s website stands in sharp contrast to the website postings of male Delta employees,” said Kevin D. Fitzpatrick. Jr., the flight attendant’s attorney. “That Delta would summarily fire Ellen Simonetti smacks of sex discrimination.”

This is going to be interesting watch because even though most places are “at will” employment, both companies and employees will need to be careful how they go about handling this cases. Hopefully, this will give both groups some ground with regard to blogs.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.