Betty Jo Green vs. Braniff Airways

J. Richard Kulerski

Case Conclusion Date:April 5, 1967

Practice Area:Employment / Labor

Outcome:Case won the right of flight attendants to marry.

Description:I was one of the Air Line Pilot Association's staff attorneys that had the honor of working on the 1966 groundbreaking case of Betty Jo Green vs Brainiff Airways. Betty Jo was a flight attendant for Braniff who was fired solely because she got married. As unbelievable as it sounds today, prior to Betty Jo's victory, every air line in the US prohibited its flight attendants from marrying. Marriage was a universal and non-defensible ground for termination. The test case that my team filed on Betty Jo's behalf drew national attention and her ultimate and precedent-setting victory, while long overdue, was one of the most nationally newsworthy occurrences of its era. Betty Jo's courage changed the air line industry and helped to set the tone for other positive societal changes that would follow We began Betty Jo's test case within the prescribed Braniff System Board of Adjustment grievance procedures and ultimately won on our appeal to the federal court.