Our client, a US Citizen of Arab background and a Muslim, alleged that he suffered ethnic and race discrimination by his co-workers and supervisors. He alleged that over a period of 3 years his supervisors and co-workers referred to him as a “terrorist,” a “towel-head,” “camel jockey,” “bomb maker,” asking him whether he had any “explosives,” commenting that they will “bury him with his Quran,” stating that “all the Arabs are terrorists,” that “You are not an American. You’re an Egyptian that lives in America. Big difference,“ that “You know what? They should nuke the fucking Middle East and Kill everybody and take the oil,” commenting on his Facebook profile page “How is the flying lessons going” and “KABOOM,” referring to actual terrorists using planes in an act of terror, and other offensive slurs and comments.
He alleged that he complained to upper-management and was told he had no witnesses or evidence. Another upper management said to him that “people say stupid things” and that he should “let it go.” He then began to tape record most of the discriminatory comments. In addition to the above comments, a co-worker was heard on the tape stating “What’s up you fucking Terrorist? How many virgins you get if you become a suicide bomber?” A co-worker was heard on the tapes saying “Do you have any explosives on you? “What you buy with your money C4 explosives,” and his supervisor was heard saying “What’s Up Terrorists?” then approached our client and said “let me just pat you down to make sure you have no vest … [and while patting our client’s] ok… good.”
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) protects the employee who sufferers from an abusive and intolerable working environment which caused him/her to suffer as a result. An employee should not be placed in a situation where he or she comes to work each day to earn a salary to take care of his/her family, only to be subjected to harsh insults and ridicule. A joke, if even intended as such, ends when feelings are hurt. The goal of employment discrimination laws is a discrimination free workplace.
After more than 2 years in litigation, as true in virtually all employment discrimination cases, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case arguing there was insufficient evidence. A judge denied the motion. The case was resolved in a private confidential settlement on the eve of trial.