Saturday, November 07, 2015

Muslim Woman Can Move Ahead With Suit Against Bus Driver Who Evicted Her

In Louis v. Metropolitan Transit Authority, (ED NY, Nov. 6, 2015), a New York federal district court held that a Muslim woman, Maria Louis, could proceed to trial with her retaliation and intentional discrimination claims against a bus driver who insisted that Louis-- who was wearing a burqa that covered her face-- move further back in the otherwise empty bus.  When she refused, the driver had Louis removed by the police.  Louis claims she was standing a seat length behind the driver who called her "scary" and who ordered her to leave the bus when she told him she was a Muslim and had a right to practice her religion. The driver insists that Louis was standing illegally on the white line in the front of the bus and became confrontational when he asked her to move. He says he did not know whether he was dealing with a man or woman because of the burqa. The court dismissed claims against the MTA and the city.