ADC Welcomes Jury Award for Muslim Woman
Washington, DC | June 4, 2007 | www.adc.org | The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) welcomes a Phoenix, AZ, jury award of $287,640 to a Muslim woman after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought an employment discrimination case against Alamo Car Rental on her behalf. Alamo had terminated Ms. Bilan Nur in December of 2001 for refusing to remove her hijab, or head covering, during the Holy Month of Ramadan. This was the first post-9-11 backlash discrimination case brought by the EEOC‘s Phoenix District Office.
ADC National Executive Director Kareem Shora said, “This is a fair and just end to the racist dismissal of Ms. Nur from her job. We hope that this case will serve as an example that discrimination will not be tolerated in any environment, and that those who engage in such unlawful action will be held accountable”.
The jury awarded Ms. Nur $21,640 in back pay for wages she would have earned if Alamo had not wrongly terminated her, $16,000 in compensatory damages, and $250,000 in punitive damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish a violator of the law, and ADC welcomes the jury‘s acknowledgment that discrimination on the basis of religion is absolutely unlawful and will be punished severely.
The EEOC brought this action on behalf of Ms. Nur under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal statute that prohibits discrimination by employers against employees on the basis of race, religion, and national origin, among other categories. ADC applauds the EEOC for bringing this action to protect a Muslim employee from employment discrimination and urges them to continue to bring such post-9-11 backlash cases to protect members of the Arab-American and Muslim-American communities.