Media Advisory: CAIR-Chicago Moves Forward on Religious Discrimination Case

(CHICAGO, IL, 7/9/09) The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) today announced the filing of a complaint in federal court on behalf of a Muslim man of South Asian descent who alleges that he suffered harassment at his workplace, culminating in an unjustified termination from his position. The former employee of Affiliated Computer Services claims that he faced discrimination by co-workers based on his race and religion throughout his tenure there. A particularly abusive employee allegedly began targeting him with racial slurs such as "terrorist" and "Bin Laden" after attempting to convert the plaintiff to Christianity. In one incident, the abusive employee reportedly sprayed aerosol cleaner into the Muslim worker's eye.

A new manager allegedly escalated the discriminatory treatment by cutting the plaintiff's bonuses in half (well below the bonuses of other employees), increasing his work load, issuing written warnings over minor issues, and finally firing the plaintiff without justification.

"No individual should suffer harassment at work based on their race or religious preference," said CAIR-Chicago Staff Attorney Kevin Vodak. "In our pluralistic society, everyone's basic rights under federal law must be protected."

In response to the allegations of harassment and unfair termination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a right to sue notice on May 19, 2009.

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties organization, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CAIR-Chicago is a chapter of America's largest Muslim civil rights group which has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to promote justice, enhance the understanding of Islam, and empower American Muslims.

CONTACT: Reem Rahman, Communications Coordinator, CAIR-Chicago, E-Mail: rrahman@cair.com; 312.212.1520; Kevin Vodak, Attorney, CAIR-Chicago, E-Mail: civilrights@cairchicago.org; 312.212.1520.