A Wisconsin man filed a federal lawsuit against United Airlines alleging he was harassed by a reservation agent over his name.
William J. Dicks filed the lawsuit Aug. 25 in federal court, claiming he received harassing telephone calls from a United Airlines employee while looking for information about a flight earlier this year.
According to the lawsuit, the incident started when Dicks called United's reservation department on Feb. 15, a 48-minute call, that he said resulted in sexual harassment, disrespect and humiliation.
The lawsuit claims the agent on the phone told Dicks his name was “controversial” but that “he like[d] it.” He also asked Dicks what he would do to the agent if the pair were alone and asked if Dicks used “protection” when being intimate with his then-girlfriend.
The agent also allegedly inquired about Dicks’ Facebook account info so that he could see “photos or personal information” about him, the suit states.
“This sequence of events caused [Dicks] to be reminded of the trauma he suffered as a child when he was teased because of his last name,” the suit reads.
Minutes after the phone call ended, Dicks alleges he received two more phone calls from the reservation department, but declined to answer.
Despite repeated attempts to report the phone call, Dicks said he had no luck in getting answers, though he feared the agent had accessed his personal information.
The lawsuit, which seeks a trial by jury, alleges the agent invaded Dicks’ privacy and caused him “great emotional stress.”
In a statement, United Airlines said it “has zero tolerance for harassment of any kind and we are reviewing the suit.”