Alamo Car Rental Found Guilty of Religious Bias

June 3, 2006

Source: Arab American News

On June 3, 2006 the Arab American News reported, "In a legal victory for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Arizona Federal District Court Judge Roslyn Silver ruled that Alamo Car Rental took part in post-9/11 backlash discrimination based on religion when it terminated a Somali customer sales representative in December 2001 for refusing to remove her head scarf during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Alamo Car Rental is owned and operated by Ft. Lauderdale-based Alamo Rent-A-Car LLC and ANC Rental Corporation - a subsidiary of Vanguard Car Rental USA, Inc.

In the first post-9/11 backlash case brought by the EEOC's Phoenix District Office, the court took the unusual step of finding the religious discrimination so clear cut based on the pleadings that it did not need to be resolved by a jury. 'It is extremely rare that a court will find discrimination based solely on the pleadings,' said Mary Jo O'Neill, Regional Attorney for the Phoenix District Office. 'The court found undisputed evidence that Alamo should have approved this employee's request to wear her head scarf as a religious accommodation or proposed a reasonable alternative.'"