Former WestJet employee shocked at positive response

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Mandalena Lewis
Former WestJet flight attendant Mandalena Lewis stands for a photograph in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday March 8, 2016. Lewis, fired after reporting an alleged sexual assault by one of the airline's pilots, says she is shocked at the positive response she's received since sharing her story publicly.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER – A former WestJet flight attendant fired after reporting an alleged sexual assault by one of the airline’s pilots says she is shocked at the positive response she’s received since sharing her story publicly.

Mandalena Lewis says she hopes the unexpected support suggests the culture around reporting sex crimes is changing.

Lewis launched a lawsuit against WestJet earlier this month, alleging the Calgary-based airline failed to respond adequately to an incident she says took place during a stopover in Hawaii six years ago.

Lewis says the tipping point was hearing last year from another flight attendant who says she complained to WestJet about being sexually assaulted by the same pilot.

The company hasn’t filed a statement of defence and none of the allegations have been proven in court.

WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky posted a statement online saying two employees have been taken out of active flying duty while the company reviews its investigations into the complaints.