Jewish Journal


October 24, 2010

Muslim trucker claims he was fired for refusing to haul alcohol


Vasant Reddy, Muslim man from Philadelphia, has sued a trucking company alleging he was fired after he refused to transport a shipment of alcohol. From the Philly Daily News:

He claims he told this to his supervisors at the Philadelphia branch of Schneider National Inc. when he was hired in May 2009. They told him they could accommodate his beliefs, but the next month he was assigned to transport a delivery of Miller Lite, said Reddy’s attorney, Justin Swidler.

When he complained, Reddy’s supervisor told him that his refusal to transport the beer was an “operational violation” and that he would be fired, the suit said.

Reddy said he was assigned another nonalcoholic load that he transported successfully and that another driver moved the Miller Lite shipment, according to court documents.

Two days later, though, Reddy was given a choice: Resign or be fired, Swidler said.

Not surprisingly, a spokeswoman for Schneider National did not return a call for comment.

As I mentioned with the Disneyland hijab mess, an employer in a religious discrimination lawsuit:

only needs to show that it either provided a reasonable accommodation or that doing so would impose undue hardship on the company or its employees.

This one will likely come down to numbers and the logistics of adjusting the trucking firm’s system for assigning deliveries. If Reddy’s attorney’s statements can be taken at face value, it sounds like the trucking company is going to have a seriously uphill battle. In other words: they’ll be settling.

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