Feds Sue Metro, Alleging Religious Discrimination

October 2, 2008

Author: Taryn Luntz

Source: The Examiner


The U.S. Justice Department is suing Metro, alleging religious discrimination over the transit agency's policy of barring employees from altering their uniforms to comply with their religious beliefs.

The lawsuit cites the case of Gloria Jones, an Apostolic Pentecostal Christian, who in 2005 applied to be a Metro bus driver but was allegedly denied because her religious beliefs prohibit her from wearing pants, which are part of a bus driver's uniform.

Metro's driver uniforms do not include a skirt option.

"WMATA's policy and practice is to deny all requests for religious accommodations to its uniform policies, regardless of whether reasonable accommodations are available that would resolve the religious conflict without imposing an undue hardship on WMATA," the Justice Department complaint said.

Such a policy is a violation of a federal law that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, the complaint said.