Two Muslim truck drivers who refused to transport alcohol were recently awarded $240,000 by an Illinois judge, according to a press release by the EEOC.
Truck drivers Mahad Abass Mohammed and Abdkiarim Hassan Bulshale were fired from Illinois-based Star Transport back in 2009 after they refused to transport alcohol because it violated their religious beliefs.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the carrier on behalf of the drivers, alleging religious discrimination and wrongful termination.
On October 20th, after 45 minutes of deliberation, a federal jury ruled in favor of the EEOC and the drivers. U.S. District Court Judge James E. Shadid ordered Star Transport to pay $240,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.
EEOC trial attorney June Calhoun commented on the case, “They suffered real injustice that needed to be addressed. By this verdict, the jury remedied the injustice by sending clear messages to Star Transport and other employers that they will be held accountable for their unlawful employment practices. ”
Truck driver Abdkiarim Hassan Bulshale, who was awarded $120,000, added, “This case makes me proud to be American.”
Collecting on the awarded damages may be difficult, however, as Star Transport permanently closed its doors earlier this year.