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Employment Discrimination Report Discussions on Recent Legislation, Noteworthy Cases & Trends in Enforcement

Multi-Million Dollar Employment Discrimination Verdict for Muslim Woman

Posted in Religious Discrimination

On April 29th we discussed the disturbing trend of an increase in the number of Muslims filing charges and lawsuits alleging employment discrimination on the basis of religion, and noted the statistics and a few recent charges filed.

Now, Mará Rose Williams of the Kansas City Star has reported that what appears to be the largest employment discrimination jury verdict in Missouri history based religion was rendered in favor of a woman who converted to Islam and then experienced harassment by co-workers at Southwestern Bell/AT&T. Plaintiff contended that “Nobody ever cared what religion I was before,” but when she converted colleagues began to call her a “towelhead” and a terrorist, and asked her if she was going to blow up the building.

The jury awarded $120,000 in lost wages (and other actual damages), attorney fees and $5 million in punitive damages. The report notes, however, that Missouri law caps punitive damages at five times the actual damages.

Southwestern Bell/AT&T said it plans to appeal.