A United Airlines employee accused of using a racial slogan against a black customer is facing a misdemeanor responsibility for disorderly behavior.
The Houston police issued Carmella Davano a referral to disorderly behavior on February 26, after United's Cacilie Hughes alleged that the airline had called her a monkey – a historical racist term when it was aimed at black people.
By his arraignment last month, Davano did not blame guilty of misdemeanor charge, which is only punished by a fine, according to Jose Soto, a spokesman for the Houston Municipal Courts. The airline's agent requested a jury trial, which was set for June, Soto told HuffPost.
Hughes claims that Davano called her "a shining monkey" at the United terminal in Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport that day in February.
"I went up to the woman Carmella and said," Hey, do you have a refund code available? "And she started shouting at me and calling me a monkey," Hughes told The New York Times. "I was humiliated, I cried and I was the only black woman in the area."
The spokesman for the important defense ministry, Victor Senties, told the Associated Press that two witnesses supported Hughes' claim.
Davano was subsequently removed from service which United has investigated the case, according to airline spokesman Jonathan Guerin.
"At United we believe that the diversity of our workforce makes us stronger. Together we take pride in the highest standards of professionalism and have zero tolerance for any kind of discrimination," said an airline statement.
The claim continued: "This incident is deeply offensive and does not reflect the fundamental values of our company and our 90,000 employees. Therefore, we took immediate action to remove this person from work. Since then, we have followed all the required procedures under The company became involved in controversy two years ago after a virus video showed that David Dao, a Kentucky physician, was being violently ripped off by a security officer in Chicago. Dao spoke publicly about his handling for the first time on "Good Morning America" earlier this month. He noted that he has forgiven the airline for the incident, even though he looks at the video, he still gets tears.
United said in a April 9 statement to "Good Morning America" that the incident with the Dao was a "defining moment" and that the company will "continue to learn from that experience."