Pregnant Airline Worker Who Asked to be Reassigned to Avoid Fumes Was Suspended Instead—and Ended Up Homeless

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Pregnant mother Symone Ellis was only hoping to get away from the noxious fumes that come from airplanes at her job with Global Elite Group, an aviation security firm that staffs New York’s Kennedy Airport.


Instead, Ellis, who is dealing with a high-risk pregnancy, told the New York Daily News her April request to be reassigned and away from airplane exhaust lead to a suspension from her $13.50 an hour job. That caused the loss of her apartment, leading the pregnant Ellis and her six-year-old daughter to rely upon homeless shelters when they weren’t lucky enough to stay with a friend.

The Daily News notes that it took a call to “the city Human Rights Commission to get her back on Global Security’s schedule,” she said.

“We do a lot to make sure the airport ... is safe for all the travelers,” Ellis told the Daily News. “I don’t think I should have had to go through all of this just for them to put me back on the schedule.”

Ellis is the second pregnant airport worker to talk with the Daily News about retaliation after asking not to be exposed to airplane exhaust.

“They should accommodate that,” Rob Hill, the organizing director at 32BJ SEIU, the union trying to organize at Global Elite told the Daily News. “It’s a decent human thing to do, besides being the law.”

Global Elite told the New York newspaper it couldn’t comment specifically about Ellis claims but said: “Global Elite Group values the health and well being of our team members and their rights and safety will continue to be our top priorities,” Global Elite spokesman Casey Sherman said.


Ellis merely wants a healthy work environment so that she doesn’t have to be afraid for her unborn child’s safety.

“I don’t want it to happen to anyone else,” said Ellis, who is due in November, told the Daily News. “It shouldn’t happen. We have rights.”

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.


For every woman who speaks out, like Ms. Ellis, there has to be many, many more who don’t feel that they have any options.

This Is America.