On April 1 we reported a sharp increase in the last year in complaints of employment discrimination based on religion filed by Muslims in one county in Pennsylvania. We also reported that nationwide, charges of religious discrimination jumped by 9.5 percent during the 2011 fiscal year, the largest increase of any category, according to the EEOC.
Ralph E. Stone has just noted in the Berkeley Daily Planet that “although Muslims make up only two percent of the U.S. workforce,” they filed nearly 25 percent of religious-discrimination claims in 2009.
He then goes on to describe the nature of the discrimination claims:
“The increase in discrimination claims was predominately by Muslims, Arabs, South Asians, and Sikhs or Islamophobia. Most of the complaints alleged harassment and termination of employment. Some typical workplace-discrimination claims include comments about praying in the workplace, calling an employee a terrorist or member of al-Qaeda, racial slurs, forbidding women from wearing the traditional head scarf or hijab, and refusing to shave a beard. And there have been cases where an employee was discriminated against because other employees mistakenly thought he was a Muslim.”
The Dallas Observer reports that four Muslims just filed a Title VII case alleging that they were fired because of their ethnicity and religion. Plaintiffs, who received a “reasonable cause” determination from the EEOC, are suing International House of Pancakes claiming that despite repeated good performance reviews, they were fired as managers from IHOP locations in Plano, Fort Worth, Arlington and Burleson, and were allegedly replaced by white, non-Muslim managers. Plaintiffs claim that one replacement told a meeting of managers that “Arab men treat women poorly and with disrespect[;] we’re going to let these people go and have new faces coming in.”
This trend is obviously one that should concern all Americans, not only employers.