EEOC files religious discrimination lawsuit against Star Transport

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | 5/31/2013

Two drivers for an Illinois-based trucking company have filed a religious discrimination lawsuit, alleging they were fired for refusing to haul loads of alcohol based on their religious beliefs.

In the complaint filed in federal court on Wednesday, May 29, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claims that Star Transport Inc., of Morton, IL, failed to provide the drivers, who are Muslim, with “reasonable accommodation” and terminated them because of their religion. Star Transport is an intrastate company with approximately 15 drivers.

According to court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois in Peoria, the EEOC and Star Transport failed to enter an acceptable conciliation agreement in December 2012, prior to the EEOC’s lawsuit being filed.

“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,” said EEOC District Director John P. Rowe in a statement.

The EEOC is seeking back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for the drivers, as well as an order barring Star Transport from engaging in future discriminatory employment practices.

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