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Truck Driver Claims He Was Fired Because Of Accent


Miscommunication Ismail Aliyev has accused shipping giant FedEx of firing him because he speaks with a Russian accent.  Aliyev worked for Salt Lake City-based GNB Trucking, which had a contract with FedEx.

According to the Desert News, in August of 2011, Aliyev was issued a warning citation by an officer at a weigh station in Iowa because the officer had trouble understanding Aliyev.

Aliyev then notified GNB Trucking of the citation.  Three weeks later, Aliyev was fired, “based on instructions from an employee of FedEx to whom plaintiff had never spoken,” according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

“GNB Trucking acknowledged that Aliyev is a ‘really good driver’ and that it had no conflict with him, according to the lawsuit. The company tried to rehire him but FedEx would not let him work, the suit says,” Desert News reported.

Aliyev’s attorney, Robert Wilde said that Aliyev offered to fly to FedEx headquarters to allow the company to listen to him speak, but FedEx declined his offer.

“He’s got a thick accent but he’s very understandable,” Wilde said.

Aliyev and his attorney believe he is a victim of ethnic discrimination and Aliyev maintains he was fired because of the company stereotyped him.

Wilde told Desert News he would like to see Aliyev get his job back, plus be rewarded back pay.

“I just think this case is important because of the hope we hold that if people come and work hard their efforts will be rewarded,” he said. “When something like this happens, it undermines what I think America stands for.”





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