In 2008, a Rochester-based limousine company was hired to chauffeur a Saudi princess whose husband, a prince, was being treated at the Mayo clinic. One of their female employees, who was pregnant, regularly drove the princess, using the money she earned to take time off after her child was born.
The prince and his entourage returned to the state in 2010, prompting the company to hire 40 drivers, including the woman who had driven the princess before, as well as two other women.
However, the prince informed the company that he didn't want any female drivers in the group. In Saudi Arabia, a fatwa was issued in 1991 that warned against allowing women to drive. That is not technically a law but fatwas are taken very seriously in Islamic countries.
Upon hearing the prince's request, the limo company fired the three woman drivers. They filed EEOC complaints of gender discrimination against the prince, their employer and the company's owner. Mediation was unsuccessful and now they are bringing their claims in federal court.
Of course employers have an interest in giving customers what they want but that is not an excuse to partake in gender discrimination. State and federal law protects employees from such unfair treatment.
If you feel that you have been treated unfairly at work or discriminated against on the basis of your sex, age, race, disability or other protected characteristic, it is important to enlist the right help to pursue your case and protect your rights. Consider contacting an experienced employment law attorney who can understand your unique situation and work to represent your interests.
Source: Business Management Daily, "Female chauffeurs sue Saudi prince, limo company," Jan. 4, 2013
Our firm handles a wide range of employment law matters, including discrimination in the workplace. To learn more please visit the sex discrimination page of our website.