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22 Apr 2010

Recent allegations of workplace discrimination against Muslims in USA

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Below is a selection of items regarding recent allegations of workplace discrimination against private companies by Muslim employees in the USA. 

"Muslims face growing bias in the workplace", Eve Tahmincioglu, MSNBC.com, 13 Sep 2010
“Claims of discrimination against Muslim workers — which spiked immediately after 9/11 and then dissipated — are showing signs of resurgence. ‘There is a hatred, an open hatred, and a lack of tolerance for people who are Muslim,’ said Mary Jo O’Neill, regional attorney for the Phoenix district office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission… Claims of bias against Muslims in the workplace rose to 1,490 last year from 1,304 in 2008 and just 697 in 2004, according to EEOC figures. Last year's total was even higher than in the year after the 9/11 attacks, when bias claims hit 1,463. Figures from this year are not yet available.”

"Imperial Security Sued For Religious Discrimination", EEOC, 16 Sep 2010
“[A] security company violated federal law when it terminated a security officer for wearing a religious head scarf and threatened to terminate other Muslim employees if they wore religious garments while on duty, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today…The EEOC further charged that Imperial Security has forced a class of Muslim employees to compromise their religious beliefs by removing their [religious head coverings]while on duty or risk termination.”

"Abercrombie & Fitch Sued For Religious Discrimination", EEOC, 1 Sep 2010
“Clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, Co…violated federal law when it refused to hire a Muslim job applicant because she wore a hijab (religious head scarf), the [EEOC] charged in a workplace discrimination lawsuit filed today…In March 2008, the 18-year-old female applied for a job stocking merchandise at the ‘Abercrombie Kids’ store…In accordance with her religious beliefs, she wore a colorful headscarf to her interview…[T]he Abercrombie & Fitch manager…marked ‘not Abercrombie look’ on the young woman’s interview form.  The EEOC’s suit alleges that Abercrombie & Fitch refused to accommodate the applicant’s religious beliefs by granting an exception to…an internal dress code that includes a prohibition against head coverings.”

"JBS Swift and Co. Facing EEOC Suit Alleging Mistreatment Of Somali Muslims", Solomon Banda, Huffington Post, 31 Aug 2010
“Muslim Somali workers at two JBS Swift & Co. meatpacking plants in Colorado and Nebraska face ongoing harassment because of their race and religion, including being prevented from getting a drink at one of the plants after fasting all day during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges…The suit says the water fountain incident happened in September 2008 and is part of a pattern of religious and racial harassment that continues at the plant.”

"Disney worker claims religious discrimination, Eileen Frere", ABC7.com, 23 Aug 2010
“A Disneyland employee refusing to wear a Disney-supplied hat on the job, in place of her traditional Muslim headscarf, has charged Disney with religious discrimination. Imane Boudlal sits at home in Anaheim, another day away from work. She is embarrassed by a costume that her employer, Disneyland, offered to her to wear. The hat is meant to replace her hijab, the headscarf, a part of her Muslim faith. ‘It's ridiculous, just making fun of me and my religion,’ said Boudlal. The 26-year-old accuses Disneyland of discrimination for not letting her wear her hijab at work.”

"EEOC And Electrolux Reach Settlement In Religious Accommodation Charge Brought By Muslim Employees", EEOC, 6 Aug 2010
“The…[EEOC] and appliance manufacturer Electrolux today announced they have settled a religious accommodation charge filed against the company. The charge of discrimination…alleged that company management failed to discuss with them a religious accommodation that they requested. The employees had asked the company to allow them to break their fast shortly after sunset in accordance with the observation of Ramadan, the Islamic holiday that involves fasting from dawn to sunset every day for approximately one month annually around this time…The issue arose for the Muslim employees for the first time this year as a result of a new health and safety policy introduced by Electrolux which prohibits food in production areas of the plant.”

"LouisvilleMarriott Managing Company to Pay $40,000 to Settle EEOC Religious Discrimination Suit", EEOC, 21 Jul 2010
“White Lodging Services, Inc., which manages the Louisville Marriott Downtown Hotel, will pay $40,000 and furnish other relief to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. According to the EEOC’s suit, the company failed to provide an accommodation to four Somali women of the Moslem faith by not allowing them to work while wearing their hijab or head scarf...”

"EEOC Obtains $122,500 from Houston Construction Company for Religious, Race and National Origin Discrimination", EEOC, 22 Apr 2010
“A Houston-area construction company will pay $122,500 and provide additional remedial relief to resolve a discrimination lawsuit filed by the [EEOC].. The EEOC had charged that Pace Services, L.P. discriminated against Mohammad Kaleemuddin because he is of the Islamic faith and of East Indian descent …The EEOC’s lawsuit…asserted that a Pace supervisor referred to Kaleemuddin as ‘terrorist,’ ‘Taliban,’ ‘Osama’ and ‘Al-Qaeda.’ According to the EEOC, despite Kaleemuddin’s complaints, Pace never took action to stop the harassment, which continued up to the day when the supervisor fired him.”