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Company ordered to pay $240,000 for firing truck drivers who refused to transport alcohol

By Mason White 3:17 PM October 29, 2015
Alcohol illustration 

By: Chan Yuan
(Scroll down for video) Two Muslim men won a lawsuit against a trucking company after they were fired for refusing to transport alcohol.

Star Transport Company of Illinois, was ordered to pay a total of $240,000 to the two Muslim employees who were fired for refusing to deliver beer, citing their religious beliefs.

A jury awarded $40,000 in back pay and $200,000 in punitive damages to the two truck drivers who claimed religious discrimination after they were fired for refusing to make deliveries of beer.

U.S. District Court Judge James E. Shadid ruled in favor of Mahad Abass Mohamed and Abdkiarim Hassan Bulshale, after Star Transport admitted that they could have sent other drivers to do these deliveries.

The workers, who are Somali-American, were represented by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). They argued that the employer had failed to provide “reasonable accommodations” to the employees.

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers must accommodate workers’ religious beliefs unless doing so would impose undue hardship on the business.

The company admitted in court that they sometimes switch drivers’ assignments. The judge found that the trucking company could have given the drivers other products to deliver rather than firing them.