Saturday, February 04, 2006

Illinois AutoZone sued for discrimination

AutoZone sued by Muslim employee for discrimination
February 4, 2006
Chicago, Illinois -- El Bakly v. Autozone, Inc., 04C 2767 Autozone Inc. (NYSE: AZO), the nations’ leading retailer of automotiveparts, filed its motion for summary judgment in a case brought by aformer Muslim employee at one of its Franklin Park, Illinois stores forreligious and racial discrimination and harassment following the onsetof the Iraq War.

The lawsuit alleges that, for a period extending several months,several managers at the Autozone location in Franklin Park, Illinois repeatedly and intentionally used religious and racial epithets againstemployee Moustafa El-Bakly, who is of Muslim and Egyptian-American descent and mocked his religion. He alleges that his store supervisorsregularly called him a “terrorist,” referred to Saddam Hussein andAl-Quaeda as his “buddies” insulted his prayer practices with sexualgestures. His complaint claims that, although he had been promoted byprevious management to a commercial specialist position and performed well at his job, his new management assigned him to the uniform andtasks of those of inferior positions and to degrading and humiliating tasks including cleaning out the toilets and parking lots, before eventually terminated him on June 2, 2004.

Mr. El-Bakly had recently undergone heart surgery and treatment for diabetes before his employment with Autozone, and was attending college part-time before he was fired. He said his condition deteriorated dueto the stress. “The people I can complain to, my bosses, were the onesdoing this to me. No one else, they don’t believe me; they think it’sfunny. I was their joke, alone,” stated Mr. El-Bakly.

A Motion for Summary Judgment is a request made to the court to decidethe case based on statements and evidence without a trial. The courtmay grant such a motion when there are no genuine issues of materialfact that would require a trial to resolve. With the filing of this motion, the Autozone is asking the court to dismiss all counts of Mr.El-Bakly’s complaint on the merits of the submitted evidence.

The lawsuit seeks reinstatement, front pay, back wages, compensatory and punitive damages. Autozone’s Bellwood offices are at (708)493-2677, and its corporate headquarters are in Memphis, TN.

The company is represented by Ms. Renee Gluth of Frilot, Partridge, Kohnke& Clements, (504) 599-8000.

Contact: Luis A. Oviedo, Attorney, 312-563-9983