Emirates Airlines forced a flight attendant onto a diet for being “too heavy” and monitored her weight for three years.
Former flight attendant Duyga Karaman made the allegations in an exclusive interview with The Mirror.
Emirates forces flight attendant onto diet
Karaman worked for Emirates for 10 years, however, for the last three, she claims management put her on a weight loss program.
The program involved putting her on a diet in addition to having her body size monitored, including regular random checks of her BMI.
Emirates put Karaman on the program following a complaint from an anonymous colleague who described her as “too heavy” – despite weighing around 65kg.
‘Definitely not okay’
Speaking to The Mirror, Karaman said the scrutiny on her weight affected her confidence.
“It’s definitely not okay. My two or three kilo extra weight didn’t prevent me doing my job.
“I was a senior cabin crew, I knew what I was doing. I was really good at customer service, I was really good at my job.”
Told what to eat
Karaman said the airline advised her not to eat carbohydrates such as rice and bread.
Management also subjected her to random weigh-ins prior to flights.
“I tried to keep it at that weight, but sometimes I would gain one or two kilos,” she said.
“I was so upset – I had to go back to zero months, and you have to remain clear for a year to be let go.”
Physical features discrimination
Employment lawyer Stephen Dryley-Collins says, in Australia, employers can lawfully discriminate against people based on their physical features, except in Victoria.
“Physical features is a protected attribute under Victorian anti-discrimination legislation,” he said.
“This means an employer cannot discriminate against someone who is overweight, for example, refusing to hire them or denying them a promotion.
“Unfortunately, such protections currently don’t exist in other states.”
Wellbeing of employees ‘highest priority’
An Emirates spokesperson refused to comment on Karaman’s allegations, however, in a statement they said:
“As a global airline, we treat the wellbeing of our employees with the highest priority, and we believe being fit and healthy, both physically and mentally, is an important aspect in them carrying out their duties safely and effectively.”
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