Ex-Alaska Airlines pilot says he lost his job over incorrect #MeToo claims

(CNN)A outdated Alaska Airlines pilot is firing help at an ex-colleague who accused him of rape, asserting he lost his job as a result of her “incorrect #MeToo claims.”

In a lawsuit, Paul Engelien admits to drinking alcohol in a Minneapolis hotel lounge with first officer Betty Piña all the diagram thru a June 2017 layover.
But he denies Piña’s claims, beforehand reported by CNN, that he drugged and sexually assaulted her that night.
Piña made nationwide headlines this 365 days when she went public with the allegations in a lawsuit in opposition to Alaska Airlines. Piña did not title Engelien as a defendant in the lawsuit, but she alleged that the airline used to be accountable for Engelien’s actions as his employer.
Now, Engelien is suing Piña and Alaska Airlines over fallout from her legend.

Piña stands by her legend

Engelien’s lawsuit accuses Piña of making up the allegations to dwell faraway from disciplinary motion for drinking interior 10 hours of responsibility, which is in opposition to airline protection. He claims the airline wrongly terminated him after conducting a “negligent, wrong” investigation with the serve of a non-public investigator, which he says used to be designed to originate particular his termination.
Piña’s legal gracious, Patty A. Eakes, denied that she made up the legend. In an electronic mail, Eakes acknowledged Piña is “confident” that the case could be considered for what she sees it as: an assault on her for speaking out.
“Sadly, complaints worship Mr. Engelien’s relax speech and originate it more challenging for victims to come forward,” Eakes acknowledged.
Alaska Airlines declined to touch upon the lawsuit or the situations of Engelien’s departure, citing a protection in opposition to discussing personnel complications. Marcella Reed, the interior most investigator the airline employed for the investigation, did not return requests for comment.
Engelien’s lawsuit seeks monetary damages from Piña based on allegations of defamation, privateness invasion and emotional damage. It accuses Alaska Airlines and the interior most investigator of conspiring with Alaska workers to ignore evidence in his desire, leading to his termination.
He will be submitting a separate criticism with the US Equal Employment Alternative Price, accusing Alaska Airlines of retaliation and discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act after he admitted he used to be an alcoholic and went thru a treatment program, his legal gracious acknowledged.

Drinks in hotel lounge result in rape claims

Piña’s lawsuit, filed in February 2018, acknowledged Engelien’s conduct epitomizes “the necessity and motive of the #MeToo motion.” But a legal gracious for Engelien accused Piña of making the most of #MeToo to bolster incorrect allegations.
“Captain Engelien and his counsel imagine that all disputes between events deserve due route of; and society, in this digital world, will restful be simplest served if we serve faraway from a chase to judgment for or in opposition to accusers or the accused,” Howard T. Dulmage acknowledged.
Each and every Engelien’s and Piña’s complaints stem from a June 5, 2017, layover in Minneapolis, when Engelien and Piña met in a hotel lounge for food and drinks. They socialized with crew members from one other airline except Eight p.m., about 23 minutes sooner than the 10-hour slash help-off time for reporting to work, Engelien’s lawsuit says.
Per every complaints, their memories change into fuzzy after leaving the lounge. They every acknowledged they awoke in Engelien’s hotel room. Piña acknowledged they had been in the identical mattress, but Engelien acknowledged they had been in separate ones. And where Piña says she awoke with out pants or lingerie after being raped, Engelien acknowledged nothing took self-discipline between them.

Alcohol investigation takes a flip

Engelien’s lawsuit says he used to be awoken by a uncared for call from his flight operations responsibility officer. When the responsibility officer known as him help, he suggested Engelien that a flight attendant reported seeing him in the hallway with alcohol and used to be not jubilant flying with him, in step with the lawsuit.
Engelien admitted to drinking earlier in the night. Since the time on his cell phone had not as a lot as this point to Minneapolis’ time zone, the lawsuit claims, he mistakenly suggested the responsibility officer that he stopped drinking later than he genuinely did, after the 10-hour cutoff point.
His responsibility officer pulled him off the flight and placed him on in heart-broken health sail away. Piña used to be also pulled from the flight and the 2 returned to Seattle, Alaska’s headquarters, on June 7 to meet with union representatives, in step with the lawsuit.
Three weeks later, the lawsuit claims, Piña suggested an Alaska consultant in a non-public assembly that she had “questions” about what took self-discipline in Minneapolis. At that time, the lawsuit claims, “Alaska’s investigation shifted from every pilots’ alcohol spend to fully a #MeToo investigation directed in opposition to Engelien.”
Alaska Airlines employed Reed, the interior most investigator, the following week to lend a hand in a place of work investigation, the lawsuit says. In September, Engelien entered an alcohol treatment program for pilots based on Alaska’s assurances that he wouldn’t be terminated upon completion. Per the lawsuit, Engelien complied with the requirements of this draw, but he used to be saved on sail away while Reed investigated the topic.
Meanwhile, Engelien suggested the investigator that he mistakenly reported the unfriendly time of his closing drink, however the investigator did not examine his claims, in step with the lawsuit. He took and passed a polygraph examination linked to the incident, the swimsuit states.
Then in March, a month after Piña filed her lawsuit, Reed launched what Engelien known as a “pretextual” investigation file finding that he lied about drinking and violated the 10-hour rule — but Piña did not.
Alaska issued its closing choice to terminate Engelien in May per chance based on Reed’s file. Since then, he has struggled to search out a job based on the corrupt publicity, and his teenage daughter has bought calls from journalists about the case, the lawsuit says.
Engelien also believes that he lost his job for admitting to his alcoholism and present process treatment, in step with the lawsuit, despite Alaska’s assurances that they supported the option.
Engelien’s legal gracious acknowledged his plot is to not diminish #MeToo or call into count on its necessity. The ongoing drama has moral as noteworthy function with Alaska’s noxious coping with of the topic because it does with Piña’s claims, Dulmage acknowledged.