Discrimination suit filed against USF Holland, YRC Worldwide Inc. on behalf of African-American Muslim worker

(CHICAGO, 12/21/09) CAIR-Chicago announced today that it has filed a complaint in federal court against USF Holland and YRC Worldwide Inc. on behalf of an African-American Muslim former employee. The complaint alleges that the man, Reginal Exson, suffered discrimination based on his race, religion and disability.

Exson worked as a truck driver for USF Holland out of the company’s Cook County location. Mr. Exson claims that a company representative made derogatory remarks regarding his race, such as “You are a black f***ing liar. I never met a black person that didn’t lie. It must be part of your gene pool.”

After sustaining extensive injuries on the job in an accident for which he was not at fault in November 2007, Mr. Exson says that the company refused to honor his doctor-recommended work restrictions and subjected him to discipline based on false allegations.

In addition to this discriminatory treatment, a worker’s compensation coordinator is alleged to have called Mr. Exson a “terrorist,” saying, “Did you think I was going to let you and Osama bin Laden get off with all this money that we’re paying you?” Another representative refused to recognize Mr. Exson’s right to pray pursuant to his religious beliefs, allegedly stating “I don’t give a damn about your religion or your prayers.”

Mr. Exson also says that his benefits provider, YRC Worldwide Inc. (the parent company of USF Holland), refused to properly compensate him for work-related injuries or accommodate his restrictions so that he could return back to work. Mr. Exson has not received any pay or benefits from the companies since March 2009.

“Employers must act to ensure that employees work in environments free from racism and anti-Islamic sentiments,” said Kevin Vodak, Staff Attorney at CAIR-Chicago. “Based on Mr. Exson’s allegations, the large trucking corporations involved in this lawsuit fostered blatantly discriminatory terms and conditions that no employee should have to endure.”

CAIR-Chicago is a chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil rights group, which has 33 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to promote justice, enhance the understanding of Islam, and empower American Muslims.

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CAIR-Chicago Executive Director, Ahmed Rehab, 202.870.0166, E-Mail:arehab@cair.com
CAIR-Chicago Communications Coordinator, Amina Sharif, 312.212.1520, 630.935.5562, E-Mail:asharif@cair.com
CAIR-Chicago Civil Rights Director Christina Abraham, 312.212.1520, 847-971-7989: E-Mail: cabraham@cair.com;