{Fired Hijabi Wins $287K in Lawsuit}

A Phoenix jury has awarded more than $287,000 to a woman who accused Alamo Car Rental of discriminating against her because of her religion when it fired for refusing to remove her head scarf during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The jury awarded $21,640 in back pay, $16,000 in compensatory damages, and $250,000 in punitive damages to Bilan Nur. The jury's award comes about a year after a federal judge found that the company had violated federal law.

In the lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged that Alamo failed to offer a reasonable accommodation to Nur, a Somali customer sales representative who wanted to wear a head scarf during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The EEOC said the company permitted her to wear a head covering for religious reasons during Ramadan in 1999 and 2000 but denied her request to wear the head covering in 2001. The agency accused the company of post-9/11 backlash discrimination.

The company argued that it was under no obligation to accommodate Nur because allowing her to wear the head scarf would have created an undue hardship on the company.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals because of their religion in hiring, firing, and other terms and conditions of employment. Employers must reasonably accommodate employees' sincerely held religious beliefs or practices unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer.

The lawsuit was the first post-9/11 backlash case brought by the EEOC's Phoenix district office.


All I can say is "Thank God!"