Southwest Airlines crew members fight over face masks at San Jose hotel

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — A Southwest Airlines employee is accused of assaulting another man at a hotel in San Jose over a face mask dispute.

Officers with the San Jose Police Department arrived at the DoubleTree by Hilton on October 18 for the alleged assault and battery.

Police confirmed to KRON4 that the suspect was a Southwest Airlines employee and that the dispute started over “the wearing or not wearing of masks.” The employee was cited and released, and police forwarded the case to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

Southwest tells KRON4 they received reports about an off-duty disagreement between crew members on an overnight trip.

The airline’s internal investigation is ongoing, and one employee is currently on leave. The investigation is pending the outcome of charges filed with local authorities, Southwest Airlines said.

The same week of the incident, the airline reminded employees that “crossing the line in a heated conversation can be a violation of our guidelines for employees and can even end in loss of job,” according to an internal memo obtained by USA Today. “Being off-duty is never an excuse to ignore the Golden Rule.”

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