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AT&T to pay Muslim woman $5M in harassment case

Posted by on May. 6, 2012 at 11:37 AM
  • 70 Replies

  A former Kansas City woman who converted to Islam in 2005 said she was harassed for years at AT&T, and that the abuse boiled over in 2008 when her boss snatched her head scarf and exposed her hair.

A Jackson County jury on Thursday awarded Susann Bashir $5 million in punitive damages in her discrimination lawsuit, along with $120,000 in lost wages and other actual damages.

The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/JKWbqR ) reported Saturday the award appears to be the largest jury verdict for a workplace discrimination case in Missouri history.

Bashir said in court documents that her work environment became hostile immediately after she converted, with her co-workers making harassing comments about her religion and referring to her hijab as "that thing on her head."

"I was shocked. I thought, 'What is going on?'" she told the newspaper. "Nobody ever cared what I wore before. Nobody ever cared what religion I was before."

Bashir worked at AT&T's office in Kansas City for 10 years as a fiber optics network builder before being fired from her $70,000-a-year job. She claimed she endured religious discrimination nearly every day of the final three years she worked there, including being asked if she was going to blow up the building and being called a "towelhead" and a terrorist.

AT&T said Friday it disagrees with the verdict and plans to appeal.

Despite the jury's award, Bashir stands to receive much less than $5 million because Missouri law caps such awards at five times the actual damage amount, plus attorney fees.

Amy Coopman, Bashir's lawyer, said attorney fees will be determined later by the judge.

The previous largest such verdict came in 2009, when Mohamed Alhalabi, an Arab-American Muslim, was awarded $811,949 in St. Louis County Circuit Court in a case against the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

That same year, a Jonesboro, Ark., jury ordered AT&T to pay $1.3 million to two former employees fired for attending a Jehovah's Witnesses convention.

Bashir said she called an employee help line in March 2005 and asked the company to provide sensitivity training for her co-workers.

"It was a worthless call," she said. "Nothing ever changed."

The harassment continued and in March 2008, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission launched an investigation after she filed a complaint.

She said that made some workers angry and led to the final encounter with her boss.

http://news.yahoo.com/t-pay-muslim-woman-5m-harassment-case-192536716--finance.html

by on May. 6, 2012 at 11:37 AM
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Replies (1-10):
mommy2angels427
by Bronze Member on May. 6, 2012 at 11:54 AM

 good!! 

ButterMeUp
by Silver Member on May. 6, 2012 at 12:06 PM
1 mom liked this

??? 5 million dollars? I can see 1 million but 5 seems excessive! Thats a ton of money. Yes she was humiliated but not beaten or murdered. Hell Rodney king only got 3.8 and he was beaten near to death. Priorities people priorities. 

image


bowribbonmama
by on May. 6, 2012 at 12:33 PM
2 moms liked this

 Good, it is illegal to judge someone based off their religon!

That would be like my boss taunting me for being an Atheist.

bowribbonmama
by on May. 6, 2012 at 12:33 PM
5 moms liked this

Quoting MeAndTommyLee:

Wow...now we have have another Muslim running around with more money  to fund terrorism of  Christian American Citizens. 

 Wow. Because you aren't racist or anything.

billsfan1104
by Jules on May. 6, 2012 at 12:36 PM
2 moms liked this
This one case that agree with a lawsuit. So many times there are frivolous lawsuits and this is one time its legit. You dont make fun of muslims, Catholics, jews or any religion.
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mommy2angels427
by Bronze Member on May. 6, 2012 at 12:38 PM
7 moms liked this

 I am hoping this post is fake.... if not, you're EXACTLY what's wrong with our country.  the hatred, the superiority, the simply "hey, look at me, I'm a racist asshole!" ideology.  ridiculous!  totally ridiculous!

Quoting MeAndTommyLee:

Wow...now we have have another Muslim running around with more money  to fund terrorism of  Christian American Citizens. 

 

vicki77433
by Bronze Member on May. 6, 2012 at 12:41 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting MeAndTommyLee:

Wow...now we have have another Muslim running around with more money  to fund terrorism of  Christian American Citizens. 

Wow.  You are an ignorant and evil, aren't you?

muslimah
by on May. 6, 2012 at 12:43 PM
4 moms liked this

 

Quoting MeAndTommyLee:

Wow...now we have have another Muslim running around with more money  to fund terrorism of  Christian American Citizens. 

 your sick in the fricken head bigot.


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SlingsAndThings
by Bronze Member on May. 6, 2012 at 12:44 PM
3 moms liked this
Our community here on kc has been following this case pretty closely. Im very glad she won.

I hate that people still face this kind of discrimination. There are a lot of great companies out there though. I'm glad to work for one. I've never felt discriminated against at my work and hope I never will.
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Arroree
by Ruby Member on May. 6, 2012 at 12:54 PM


Quoting MeAndTommyLee:

Wow...now we have have another Muslim running around with more money  to fund terrorism of  Christian American Citizens. 

Could you be any more bigoted and hateful??

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