On September 27, 2002, the Phoenix office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit under Title VII against Alamo Rent-A-Car and ANC Rental Corporation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The EEOC alleged that the defendants had violated the rights of the complainant, a Somali Muslim woman, by refusing to allow her to wear a head scarf during Ramadan and by discharging her when she insisted on wearing it.
On November 19, 2002, the case was stayed due to the defendants' filing of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but the stay was vacated on April 14, 2003. On July 30, 2003, the parties engaged in a settlement conference, but they failed to reach a settlement.
On April 30, 2004, the EEOC filed a motion for partial summary judgment, asking the district court to find that the defendants had engaged in religious discrimination in violation of Title VII. On May 26, 2006, the district court granted summary judgment to the EEOC, finding that the defendants had violated Title VII. E.E.O.C. v. Alamo Rent-A-Car, 432 F.Supp.2d 1006 (D.Ariz. 2006).
On May 29, 2007, the parties went to trial on the issue of damages, and on June 1, 2007, the jury returned a verdict. The jury awarded the complainant $16,000 in compensatory damages, $250,000 in punitive damages, and $21,640 in back pay. On June 25, 2007, the EEOC asked the district court to amend the judgment to include injunctive relief and pre-judgment interest. On August 28, 2007, the district court denied the request for injunctive relief, but amended the jury verdict and awarded an additional $4,510 in pre-judgment interest to the complainant.
On July 5, 2007, the defendants appealed the verdict. However, on November 30, 2007, the defendants paid the amount that the jury had awarded to the complainant, and the parties filed a stipulation of dismissal, which was granted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on December 21, 2007.Jennifer Solomon - 04/08/2008