In our ongoing coverage of racial profiling and religious bias since 9/11, we go now to look at a case that ended in a big verdict for an employee who was fired for wearing a head scarf. Recently, a federal jury in Phoenix awarded more than $280,000 in a religious discrimination suit against Alamo Car Rental. The suit was brought by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Alamo Car Rental was charged on a post-9/11 backlash discrimination based on religion.
The case involved Bilan Nur, a woman of Somali descent who was let go from her customer service position in December 2001 after the Alamo car rental office she worked at in Phoenix refused to let her wear a headscarf to work.
Guest – Valerie Meyer, EEOC Attorney in Phoenix, Arizona.
Guest – Bilan Nur
Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that former Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller may be sued from ethnic and religious discrimination after 9/11. Former detainee Javaid Iqbal was among the hundreds of Muslims rounded up after 9/11 being held in maximum security conditions after they were identified as being of high interest to the investigation.
Iqbal, a Pakistani Muslim, was arrested at his Long Island home on Nov. 2, 2001, and was charged with nonviolent federal crimes unrelated to terrorism. Two months later, he was moved to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, where he was held in solitary confinement for more than 150 days without a hearing, his lawsuit alleged.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan recently recognized that Iqbal had the right not to be subjected to needlessly harsh conditions of confinement, the right to be free from the use of excessive force and the right not to be subjected to ethnic or religious discrimination.
Guest – Alex Reinert, Attorney and Law professor at the Cardoza School of Law