Two Somalian-American truck drivers employed by the Star Transportation trucking company were recently awarded $240,000 in damages and back pay after they were fired for refusing to deliver alcohol because it was against their religious beliefs. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought suit against Star Transportation for violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when they failed to accommodate the two truck drivers whose Muslim beliefs forbid them to either consume or distribute alcoholic beverages.
The trial took place in a federal courtroom in Peoria, Illinois where a jury reached their decision in less than one hour of deliberation. Each of the truck drivers was awarded $20,000 in compensatory damages, $1,500 in back wages and $100,000 in punitive damages. EEOC lawyers applauded the jury’s decision, claiming it a victory for religious freedom.
Lawyers for the defendants were encouraged by the jury’s decision, claiming it signifies the right to religious freedom for all Americans. The EEOC stated that Star Transportation’s failure to properly train its employees and supervisors led to the violation of the Muslim truck drivers’ rights to observe and practice their religion. Switching the load on the truck operated by the Muslim drivers would have been a reasonable accommodation to protect their right to religious freedom. Had the company provided their supervisors with proper training in anti-discrimination laws and actions, EEOC administrators claim that the trial could have been avoided.
Philadelphia Religious Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates Represent Victims of Discrimination in the Workplace
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an employer has the responsibility to ensure that all employees are treated fairly and equally in the workplace. Terminating an employee or failing to interview, hire or promote an individual based on their religion, gender identification, age, race, national origin or marital status is a violation of federal law.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of discrimination in any form at your place of employment, the experienced and knowledgeable team of Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates can help you claim justice. Call us at 215-569-1999 or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. We will review your case and advise you of your best legal strategy. Our offices are conveniently located in Center City Philadelphia allowing us to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.