Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Distressing State of Muslim Employment Discrimination in the United States

Mosque These numbers from a recent article by Adam Liptak in the New York Times could be construed to suggest that Muslims in the United States are being targeted by workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, but are not gaining sympathy from the courts in the current political environment:

The decisions Mr. Breinholt collected do provide a snapshot of public and judicial attitudes. Beyond the terrorism cases, two trends are clear: the number of civil cases brought by Muslim plaintiffs is growing fast, and the plaintiffs almost always lose.

There were, for instance, 69 employment discrimination decisions involving Muslim plaintiffs in 2007. Only one involved a victory, if you can call it that.

Abdul W. Azimi, a meat slicer in Portland, Me., sued his employer, Jordan Meats, for what an appeals court called “myriad and outrageous” mistreatment. Mr. Azimi found pieces of pork in his jacket, a picture of Osama bin Laden in his locker and his shoes in the toilet. A Maine jury ruled in his favor but awarded him no damages, leaving him with only a judicial declaration that his employer had violated the law.

Clearly, Muslim plaintiffs should have the same equal justice under the law as any other American citizen. Although there are many frivolous employment discrimination claims filed in any given year (my own practice experience on the management-side attests to this), these numbers are well-beyond what one would expect in a random sampling of employment discrimination cases.

Hat Tip: Jack Sargent



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