By BI: JetStream Ground Services was accused of not allowing female Muslim employees to wear Islamic fundamentalist clothing, including headbags, that they falsely claim is “required” by their faith.
Denver Post A federal jury Thursday rejected claims by Muslim women that they were discriminated against for clothing required of them by their faith — including head scarves — by a ground services company at Denver International Airport.
The eight jurors also ruled, after almost three weeks of trial, that JetStream Ground Services did not deny the women accommodations because of their religion or retaliate against them.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the company in 2013 claiming JetStream violated the civil rights of the Muslim women by refusing to hire them or firing them or reducing their hours if they were religiously observant.
JetStream offers ground services for airlines including cargo, freight, mail handling, aircraft maintenance and cabin cleaning.
The EEOC suit sought back pay and compensatory damages for plaintiffs Safia Abdulle Ali, Sahra Bashi Abdirahman, Hana Bokku, Sadiyo Hassan Jama and Amino Warsame.
JetStream attorney Raymond Deeny said in court the company does not discriminate against women but had to lay off numerous employees when the company lost a contract with DIA. Diane King, one of the lawyers representing the Muslim women, told jurors during the trial that it was up to them to send Jetstream a message to obey the law.
Andrew Volin, another attorney on the JetStream team of representation, said the company’s owners — who were in court Thursday — had no comment on the jury’s decision.
A lawyer for the five Muslim women who claim Jetstream Ground Services discriminated against Muslims said the owner of the company, David Norris, told them he wouldn’t consider hiring them if they wore headbags and long, flowing skirts because because the material could create a safety concern when climbing jetway steps into an airliner.
The EEOC claims that JetStream violated the civil rights of Muslim women by refusing to hire them or firing them or reducing their hours if they were religiously observant.