Millions Paid In Religious Lawsuits For Inflammatory Behavior

Muslim Woman Won $5M In Discrimination Lawsuit

Muslim Woman Wins $5M

Susann Bashir was awarded $5 million by the Jackson County jury because she’d been the target of ongoing harassment over a three-year time period by her fellow co-workers at AT&T. She was a fiber-optics network builder before the office fired her.

$1.3M Awarded In Employee Firing For Religious Bias

$1.3M Awarded In Employee Firing

Jose Gonzalez and Glenn Owen were awarded $1.3 million for back pay and damages. After attending an annual Jehovah’s Witness convention for every year of their employment, they were fired for attending in 2005. EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru said, “These two employees never should have had to choose between their jobs and their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Stockton Steel Settles For $1.1M

Stockton Steel Settled For $1.1M

Four Stockton Steel employees were harassed and mocked because of their traditional dress and Islam-religion prayer practices. Originally from Pakistan, they were also called “camel jockey” and “raghead”. Stockton Steel agreed to settle the case for $1.1 million, with additional accommodations.

Abercrombie Settled Religious Discrimination Case

Abercrombie Settled

Samantha Elauf is a Muslim woman who was denied employment by Abercrombie & Fitch because she wore a head scarf (hijab). A&F claimed that she didn’t meet the “look” requirement for employment, which they called “classic East Coast collegiate style.” Abercrombie settled the case for $25,000 just six months after the Supreme Court ruled that they had violated civil rights.

Scully Distribution Paid $630,000 In Race-Discrimination Suit

Scully Distribution Paid $630k

A class-action suit was brought against Scully Distribution (now known as SDS Fontana Holdings, Inc) for pervasive racial and religious discrimination toward African-American, Latino and East Indian workers. The non-white drivers were given less favorable assignments, and they were also continually harassed with racial slurs.

Court Handed Down $240k Verdict In Beer-Truck Driver Case

Court Handed Down $240k

Star Transport refused to reassign Mahad Abass Mahamed and Abdikarim Hassan Bulshale, when they refused to deliver alcohol, due to their religious beliefs. The US District Court handed down the judgment for $240,000 to cover back pay, as well as compensatory and punitive damages for the fired truck drivers.

The Plaza Hotel Settled For $525K

The Plaza Hotel Settled For $500k

Many of the reports claim that the horrible behavior was simply backlash behavior after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Employees were angry, upset and that emotion caused them make offensive slurs (“Osama,” “Taliban,” “terrorist,” and “dumb Muslim”) to fellow workers. Jointly, the complaints were placed by Muslim, Arab, and South Asian employees against their fellow workers. The Plaza Hotel agreed to pay $525,000 to settle the case.

Wal-Mart Settled For $75K In Religious Harassment Lawsuit

Wal-Mart Settled For $75k

The harassment in this case included inflammatory statements by the store manager: “Muslims are terrorists and blow things up.” Ebrima Jallow reported the behavior, and was then the target of further retaliation. As EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence said, “Harassment based on national origin or religion simply has no business in the 21st century workplace.”

Rizza Cadillac Paid $100K Due To Hostile Workplace

Rizza Cadillac Paid $100k

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled that Rizza Cadillac violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The religious harassment included offensive slurs, as well as insulting comments about the Qur’an and Muslims prayer. The court handed down the judgment in favor of the three Arab Muslim employees, but the ruling also required training for the Rizza Cadillac employees, as well as periodic reporting and a posted notice about the court decision.

McDonalds Settled For $550K In Religious-Discrimination Case

McDonalds Settled For $550k

The EEOC claimed that McDonalds failed to accommodate the request of a Muslim employee to grow a beard for religious reasons. The employee was a crew trainer, but the request resulted in the man leaving his position (constructive discharge). McDonalds agree to pay $550,000 to settle the case. The settlement also included a component of training employees in religious discrimination.

Hospital Sued For Religious Discrimination

Hospital Sued

EEOC charged that Mission Hospital refused to accommodate the religious beliefs of its employees when it required a flu vaccination every year. According to the hospital policy, the employees were allowed to submit an exemption request by September 1, but Christine Bolella, Melody Mitchell, Titus Robinson, and other employees neglected to submit the appropriate documentation and were subsequently fired.

AutoZone Settled For $75K Over Religious Discrimination

AutoZone Settled for $75k

According to EEOC, the AutoZone managers violated the civil rights of Mahoney Burroughs, when they disparaged his religion. They also asked if Burroughs had joined Al-Qaeda and if he was a terrorist. Management also refused to allow him to wear a turban and Kara (a religious bracelet), and did not intervene when customers harassed Burroughs. Finally, the managers fired him. AutoZone agreed to pay $75,000 to settle the case.

Maita Chevrolet Settled For $158K

Maita Chevrolet Settled

Anthony Okon was harassed, disciplined and ultimately fired when he took leave to observe the Sabbath, in keeping with his Seventh Day Adventist religious faith. EEOC San Francisco Regional Attorney William R. Tamayo said, “Employers must recognize the value of diversity in their workforce, including religious diversity, and not harass or discriminate against those of different faiths or religious practices.” Maita Chevrolet settled for $158,000, and also provided training, policy revision and reporting on any future discrimination.

MCM Elegante Settled For $100K

MCM Elegante Settled For $100k

MCM Elegante hired Safia Abdullah for Housekeeping, but then they would not allow her to work while wearing her headscarf (hajab). MCM Elegante agreed to pay $100,000 to settle the case. The settlement also included an injunction to prevent future discrimination, as well as training, a change in policies and posting of the employee rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Akebono Brake Corp Sued For Religious Discrimination

Akebono Brake Corp Sued

The EEOC suit alleges that Clintoria Burnett was hired by TLSP, on behalf of the Akebono Brake Corp, contingent upon the terms of the staffing agreement. The company maintained a dress code, requiring employees to wear pants. Clintoria is a member of the Apostolic Faith Church of God and True Holiness, a Pentecostal Christian denomination. According to her beliefs, she is required to wear skirts and dresses, so TLSP withdrew the offer of employment.

Tri-County Lexus Settled For $50K

Tri-County Lexus Settled For $50k

Tri-County Lexus settled for $50,000, after being charged with religious discrimination against Gurpreet Kherha, who applied for a sales position. Kherha was denied the position for which he was well qualified, after being asked to shave his beard, an action that was in direct conflict with his religious beliefs.

JBS Swift & Co Wins In Religious-Discrimination Case

JBS Swift & Co Wins

The judgment ruling was in favor of JBS Swift & Co, the defendant. EEOC had charged that the company discriminated against Somali and Muslim employees. According to the complaint, supervisors and fellow employees threw blood, meat, and bones at them, and also called them “disgusting,” as well as other offensive names.

Rugo Stone Paid $40K To Settle Suit

Rugo Paid $40k

Shazad Buksh was an estimator and assistant project manager for Rugo Stone, but was subjected to daily harassment about her nationality origin (Pakistan), her religion (Islam) and the color of her skin. In the settlement, Rugo Stone agreed to pay $40,000, as well as provide anti-harassment training, post policies, and undergo monitoring.

ABM Security Services Settled For $65k

ABM Security Services Settled For $65k

Tahira B. El, of Philadelphia, was hired by ABM Security Services but was then fired a day after she started work when she refused to remove her head scarf (khimar). ABM Security Services settled for $65,000. The company also agreed to revise their dress code to allow for religious exceptions.

Sierra Pacific Settled For $95K

Sierra Pacific Settled For $95k

The EEOC alleged that Ahmed Elshenawy was continually harassed after September 11th by his co-workers at the Sierra Pacific Industries. He was called “Osama,” “f—ing Arabian,” and “camel jockey” because of his Egyptian nationality. After he was fired, Elshenawy went on to serve in the US military. Sierra Pacific settled for $95,000, with requirements for training, posting of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and reporting.

Swift Aviation Settled For $50K

Swift Aviation Settled For $50k

Due to his Turkish/Palestinian national origin, Adam Donmez was harassed and subjected to comments like: “I don’t know why we don’t just kill all them towelheads.” In addition to providing back wages and compensatory damages, the $50,000 settlement paid by Swift Aviation required training of Swift employees.

Menorah House Settled For $125k

Menorah House Settled For $125k

The name of the place, Menorah House, makes you think that the organization might have been the target of discrimination, not the instigators. In two lawsuits, later linked, the EEOC charged that the company denied religious accommodation to Seventh-Day Adventists who were certified nursing assistants. The two women were fired when they did not report for work on the Sabbath. In the settlement, Menorah House agreed to pay $125,000, as well as conduct training and post notices.

Aviation Concepts Settled For $51K

Aviation Concepts Settled For $51k

The Aviation Concepts manager fired the assistant mechanic, Armando Perez, when he refused to do work that conflicted with his religious beliefs, as a practicing Jehovah’s Witness. Specifically, the manager ordered him to raise the US and Guam flags. When Perez declined, the manager ordered him to go home and fired him for insubordination. In the settlement, Aviation Concepts paid $51,000. The company also appointed an equal employment opportunity consultant, changed policies and agreed to provide training.

J.B. Hunt Transport Paid $260K To Former Drivers

JBH Paid $260k

The case against J.B. Hunt Transport represented four Sikh drivers, who asked for concessions to the drug-testing policy because of religious requirements. Three of the drivers was asked to submit hair samples for testing, and one of the drivers was asked to remove his turban before a urine test. J.B. recently agreed to settle the case for $260,000, as well as revise their policies. Alternative drug-testing will now be available.

Taco Bell Settled For $27K

Taco Bell Settled For $27k

Christopher Abbey is a Nazirite, so he doesn’t cut his hair. He worked for Taco Bell from 2004 until 2010, but was fired when they asked and he refused to cut his hair in accordance with the dress-code policy. Taco Bell agreed to pay $27,000, as well as adopt a religious discrimination policy and training.

National Tire And Battery Paid $22.5K To Settle

National Tire Paid $22,500

The EEOC charged that the National Tire and Battery had harassed an Arab and Muslim mechanic because of his religion and national origin. They called him “Taliban,” “al-Qaeda,” “bin Laden” and “terrorist” and accused him of making bombs. The company agreed to settle for $22,500.

Mims Distributing Settled For $50K

Mims Distributing Settled

Christopher Alston, a practicing Rastafarian, was offered a job as a driver at Mims Distributing, with the provision that he would be required to cut his hair. Alston had not cut his hair since 2009, and stated that he could not cut his hair due to his religious beliefs. So, Mims refused to hire him. To resolve the case, Mims Distributing agreed to pay $50,000 for monetary damages, as well as put into place training.

Kentucky Fried Chicken Settled For $40K

Kentucky Fried Chicken Settled For $40K

Sheila Silver believes strongly in the Pentecostal religion, which is also why she does not wear pants, only skirts and dresses. During the time that she worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken, she had never worn pants. She was informed, however, that she needed to wear pants to conform with the dress code. KFC agreed to settle for $40,000, as well as requirements for training and anti-discriminatory posting.

Morningside House Paid $25k For Religious Discrimination

Morningside House Paid $25k

Khadijah Salim was asked to remove her head scarf (hijab) by the Director of Health and Wellness, who expressed concern about her ability to perform Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) duties while wearing it. Morningside House agreed to settle the lawsuit for $25,000. The company was also required to train employees, post notices, and also refrain from further discrimination.

Four Point Sheraton Settled For $50K

Four Point Sheraton Settled

Basil Massih (of Iraqi national origin) was subjected to continual harassment by the employees of Four Point Sheraton, who mimicked his accent, called him names, as well as subjected him to mocking and jeers until he was forced to resign. Four Point Sheraton agreed to settle the case. They also agreed to conduct training, post notices, change policy, and refrain from future religious discrimination.

Kaze Japanese Steakhouse Settled

Kaze Japanese Steakhouse

Jordan Hewitt was a server at Kaze Japanese Steakhouse, until she converted to Islam and requested accommodation (she needed to wear the hijab headscarf as part of her religious beliefs). Kaze settled the case for $4,000.

UPS Settled For $70K

UPS Settled For $70k

The United Parcel Service agreed to pay $70,000 to a worker who was hired, and who then requested a schedule accommodation to attend a Jehovah’s witness convention. He was terminated a few days later. The EEOC claimed that the two events were religious discrimination. As part of the settlement, UPS also posted anti-discrimination notices and conducted training.

Ozarks Electric Settled For $95K

Ozarks Electric Settled

The EEOC charged that Ozarks Electrical refused to accommodate the request of an employee who needed to attend an annual Jehovah’s witness convention. When she attended the annual event instead of working, the company fired her. Ozarks agreed to settle for $95,000, as well as modify its leave policy, conduct training and post notices.

Burger King Settled For $25K

Burger King Settled For $25k

Ashanti McShan was a teenager who was required to wear a skirt or dress instead of pants, because of her sincere religious conviction (she is a member of the Christian Pentecostal Church). When she was hired, the manager said she’d be able to wear a skirt to accommodate her religious beliefs, but when she reported for work, she was told that she could not work in a skirt. Burger King settled the case for $25,000, as well as other relief.

Final Verdict Orders GoDaddy To Pay $286,791

Godaddy Paid $286,791

The EEOC charged that GoDaddy that they denied a sales supervisor position and dismissed the employee related to national origin (Moroccan) and religion (Islam). In the district-court case, the verdict for $390,000 was reduced to a final amount of $286,791.

Sahara Hotel & Casino Paid $100K

Sahara Hotel & Casino Paid $100k

Ezzat Elias is a man of Middle-Eastern (Egyptian) national origin. He experienced offensive slurs and graffiti (“Bin Laden,” Taliban,” and “go back to Egypt”). He also experienced retaliation, with write-ups and suspension. Sahara Hotel and Casino agreed to pay $100,00 to settle the case.

Gold ‘N Plump And the Workplace Connection Settled

Gold'N Plump And the Workplace

Somali Muslims were asked by the Workplace Connection job-placement agency to sign waivers, agreeing to handle pork product, in order to be placed for work at Gold ‘N Plump. The settlement, the companies agreed to pay $215,000 in monetary relief to a class of Somali Muslims who claimed religious discrimination. Also $150,000 additional monies will be applied to the class members in The Work Connection case.

New Community Corporation Settles For $25K

New Community Corporation Settles For $25,000

Anthony Kerr worked as a part-time task-force officer but he requested an accommodation so that he would not be required to contribute to a Catholic school because the mission of the school conflicted with his Muslim faith. The company then retaliated and even filed a complaint against him. New Community Corporation agreed to settle the case for $25,000.

Sunbelt Rentals Settled Religious-Discrimination Case

Sunbelt Rentals Settled

Clinton Ingram, a Muslim, received constant and repetitive abuse, including racial slurs, an anti-Muslim cartoon, and references to him being a terrorist, from his co-workers at Sunbelt Rentals. In the case, Sunbelt Rentals agreed to settle for $64,641 days before the trial.

Southern Hills Medical Center Settles For $70K

Southern Hills Medical Center Settled

Wali Telwar, a Muslim, submitted a request to use his earned vacation leave as a medical technician at the Southern Hills Medical Center for his pilgrimage to Mecca, but his request was declined. He was informed that he could work his schedule or resign and reapply. So, when he returned from the pilgrimage, he applied but was not rehired. The medical center agreed to settle for $70,000, as well as other stipulations.