The Council on America-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
today urged Red Lobster, the nation’s largest seafood restaurant chain, to
resolve a case of alleged religious discrimination against a Muslim
employee in South Carolina.
The employee, a U.S. citizen and graduate in hospitality management who
worked for Red Lobster for almost a decade, told the Washington-based
Islamic civil rights and advocacy group that co-workers began harassing him
following the 9/11 terror attacks.
In the period leading up to the invasion of Iraq, two Red Lobster staffers
allegedly made fun of the man’s name and accent, suggested that he came to
America to study aviation in order to blow up buildings and ridiculed his
faith and ethnicity. (The Muslim employee was born in Morocco.) Red Lobster
management reportedly told the Muslim worker to just ignore the
Following repeated harassing behavior, the Muslim employee told CAIR he got
into a shouting match with a co-worker. Both workers were reprimanded, but
only the Muslim employee was terminated, despite Red Lobster’s prior
knowledge of the hostile work environment. The case is currently in
“What this worker experienced is unacceptable and should be addressed by
upper management in Red Lobster and in its parent company, Darden
Restaurants,” said CAIR Civil Rights Attorney Engy Abdelkader. “No one
should face harassment in the workplace because of their faith or ethnicity.”
Abdelkader requested that Red Lobster resolve the case to the satisfaction
of the Muslim employee, clarify its policy on religious discrimination in
the workplace and institute sensitivity training for company staff.
Red Lobster has more than 670 restaurants and 63,000 employees in the
United States and Canada. The chain is operated by Darden Restaurants, Inc.
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 28 regional
offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.
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