SEOUL, July 29 (Korea Bizwire) – Asiana Airlines Inc., South Korea’s No. 2 air carrier, has filed a lawsuit to reverse an administrative decision ordering it to compensate a pilot who was grounded after refusing to shave his beard, industry sources said Wednesday.
The lawsuit lodged with the Seoul Administrative Court calls for the National Labor Relation Commission (NLRC) to revoke its ruling that a company official abused his power by suspending the pilot for not following the dress code.
In September last year, the pilot was suspended for 29 days for ignoring an order from a company executive to shave his beard.
According to Asiana Airlines’ dress code, male workers are not allowed to grow a beard. Foreign pilots, however, are exempt from the code, which the pilot in question has argued is discriminatory.
The pilot later sought relief with local labor commissions, and the NLRC sided with him last month and ordered Asiana to pay some 3.2 million won (US$2,758) in missed flight allowances resulting from the month-long suspension.
Asiana hopes to justify its decision through the administrative suit, said company officials, adding that “the nation’s human rights watchdog earlier determined there was nothing wrong with the company’s move and dress code.”