Approximately 250 taxi drivers have filed EEOC discrimination and retaliation complaints against Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, alleging racial and religious bias.
The cabbies, most of who are of Middle Eastern origin, allege that an airport manager referred to them as animals and called the taxi queue the “Central Zoo.” Driver Harbi Hassan is quoted as saying, “We’re not animals. We’re human beings. For me, I’ve been a U.S. citizen for 15 years. I might have [an] accent, but I’m a U.S. citizen.”
One driver alleged that the manager intimidated taxi drivers by stating he is a “50th generation native Texan, and Texas is his state, and DFW is his airport.”
Another allegation: The airport staff placed portable toilets in an area where the drivers prayed while waiting in the dispatch queue. The complaint also stated that drivers who questioned airport managers were suspended.
Juanita Wallace, president of the Dallas branch of the NAACP, which is aiding the taxicab drivers with their complaints, stated that the drivers are asking the EEOC to investigate the situation and to issue a right-to-sue letter.
According to David Magaña, an airport spokesman, taxicabs are an important part of the airport’s ground transportation system, and the airport is talking with drivers to improve service quality for customers.