Federal Agency Charged Parking Company Unlawfully Fired Muslim Woman for Failing to Remove Her Head Covering
ATLANTA – LAZ Parking, LLC, a Hartford, Conn.-based national parking company doing business in over 16 states, including Georgia, will pay $46,000 to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
In its lawsuit, filed on May 7, 2010 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division (Case No.: 1:10-CV-1384), the EEOC charged that LAZ Parking unlawfully subjected a practicing Muslim woman who worked at an LAZ Atlanta facility to discrimination when it terminated her because of her religious beliefs and refusing to remove her head covering (hijab).
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from subjecting employees to discrimination due to race, color, religion, sex or national origin. It also prohibits an employer from refusing to accommodate an employee’s sincerely held religious belief, as in this case, the wearing of a hijab. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement.
The consent decree settling the suit, in addition to the monetary relief, includes provisions for equal employment opportunity training, reporting, and posting of anti-discrimination notices. In the suit and consent decree, LAZ Parking denied any liability or wrongdoing.
“LAZ Parking worked diligently with the parties in this case to come to a speedy resolution,” said Robert Dawkins, Regional Attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta office. “Going forward, we believe LAZ Parking is sincerely committed to avoiding these types of problems.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.