Alazawi v. Swift Transp. Co. (W.D. Tenn. 2004): Failed Employment Discrimination Claim

An Arab Muslim truck driver for Swift Transportation Company sued his former employer under Title VII, Tennessee state law, and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), alleging discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, and religion, as well as intentional economic harm under state law and the FMLA. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that non-Arabs and non-Muslims received better work assignments and that fellow drivers made “hateful” comments regarding his religion and national origin. However, he did not provide any specifics regarding these claims. The defendant claimed that it terminated the plaintiff because the plaintiff did not report an accident within the timeframe mandated by the company. The Court granted the defendant company’s motion for summary judgment, concluding that the plaintiff did not provide sufficient evidence to make out a prima facie case of discrimination under Title VII, the defendant had a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for terminating employment, and because the plaintiff did not exhaust all administrative measures before pursuing a case in court. The plaintiff madeno explicit connection to Islamic law, except that to complain of perceived bias on the basis of his religion, which may have included religious practice.

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