Supervisor told Muslim employee: ‘You belong to me!’ ‘I don’t like your religion’ and ‘Do you guys [Africans] eat monkey brains?’
(NEW YORK, N.Y., 10/10/2019) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today filed a federal discrimination complaint on behalf of Sudanese Muslim engineer against International Design Services, Inc. (IDS) for racial, religious and national origin discrimination and the creation of a hostile work environment.
According to the complaint, the Muslim employee was subjected to months long pattern of harassment, intimidation, proselytizing, and threats. The Muslim worker was subjected to a “bootcamp” training program designed to harass him. His supervisor regularly yelled at and make physical and verbal threats and demeaning comments including, but not limited to:
- “If you get it [the answer to the question] wrong, I’ll run you over with the car.”
- “You belong to me!”
- While making a finger gun hand gesture mimicking a handgun and while pointing and placing the finger gun on claimant’s forehead, supervisor would say “if you get it wrong, I’m going to shoot you.”
- While holding his hand near claimant’s face, supervisor would inform claimant that he would “slap you [claimant] in the face” if you get this question wrong. Supervisor would then make a slapping motion as if to slap claimant in the face.
- Supervisor regularly ridiculed claimant by calling him stupid in front of colleagues. At times, supervisor would ask claimant: “Do you want to write the word ‘stupid’ so you remember how stupid you are?”
- “Do you guys [Africans] eat monkey brains?”
On at least 10 occasions, the supervisor told Muslim claimant “I don’t like your religion.” The supervisor tried to persuade claimant to stop praying, stop fasting during Ramadan and obsessively pressured him to drink alcohol in violation of his sincerely held religious beliefs.
After the Muslim claimant reported the discrimination, he was retaliated against and fired. The Muslim claimant suffered from depression and feared for his life during employment.
CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed stated:
"No employee, Muslim or otherwise, should ever be subjected to the harassment and mistreatment faced by our client. Employees are not chattel. They have the right to be free from discrimination and to work in a non-hostile workplace. IDS’s conduct is repugnant. Instead of putting an end to the harassment, IDS condoned it and further punished our client when he began to speak out and request help. We look forward to holding IDS responsible for terrorizing our client and ensuring future employees are treated with respect and in a lawful manner.”
He noted that CAIR-NY regularly deals with workplace discrimination issues.
SEE: CAIR-NY Files Discrimination Complaint Over MTA Employee’s Mistreatment of Muslim Traveler
Video: CAIR-NY Files Discrimination Complaint Over MTA Employee’s Mistreatment of Muslim Traveler
New Yorkers may also contact CAIR-NY for assistance by filing an incident report online at www.cair-ny.org/incident-report or call 646.665.7599.
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.