Drivers Sue For Overtime Pay and Lunch BreaksAccording to a press release from the EEOC, a Morton, Illinois carrier violated federal law when the company allegedly failed to accommodate its employee’s religious beliefs.

The press release states that Star Transport terminated two of its Muslim employees for refusing to transport alcohol.

The EEOC is suing the carrier for violating a federal law that requires employers to accommodate its employees religious beliefs and practices.

According to EEOC District Director John P. Rowe, who supervised administrative investigation prior to filing the lawsuit, “Our investigation revealed that Star could have readily avoided assigning these employees to alcohol delivery without any undue hardship, but chose to force the issue despite the employees’ Islamic religion.”

Failure to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion.

John Hendrickson, the EEOC Regional Attorney for the Chicago District Office said, “Everyone has a right to observe his or her religious beliefs, and employers don’t get to pick and choose which religions and which religious practices they will accommodate.  If an employer can reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious practice without an undue hardship, then it must do so. That is a principle which has been memorialized in federal employment law for almost50 years, and it is why EEOC is in this case.”

The EEOC says it filed suit after attempts to negotiate a settlement failed.  The agency is suing Star Transport for back pay, compensatory pay and punitive damages for the fired truck drivers.

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