AT&T Mobility LLC was sued earlier this month in California state court by a former employee. The employee is a Muslim man from Jordan who says that he was mocked, harassed, and discriminated against because of his background. After he complained, he was fired.
Ahmad Abu Samaha worked as a sales associate at an AT&T store located in the San Francisco area between 2011 and 2014. He says that his former manager mocked and ridiculed him because of his religion, race, and national origin. According to Samaha, the former manager told him that he believed that all Arabs were terrorists. He also asked Samaha to transfer to a different location for no reason.
According to Samaha, one of his former colleagues told him that he would fear for his life if he saw that a Middle Easterner or a Muslim was on the same flight. Samaha’s former manager also said that he didn’t want Samaha to “blow up the building and become a suicide bomber”. Samaha says that his former manager pushed him in the shoulder and back on several occasions and claimed that the pushes were mere accidents. When Samaha refused to transfer to another store, the manager allegedly told him he would make his life “a living hell”.
Samaha filed a complaint with the company’s human resources department, which told him they would look into the allegations but ultimately dismissed them. When Samaha’s manager found out about the allegations, he retaliated by threatening to penalize him for showing up less than five minutes late for work. Samaha’s manager also asked him what he was going to do about the manager’s actions, “Call HR again?” After Samaha’s complaints to HR, he was told that he was blacklisted from any promotions because of his discrimination complaints, even though he was the top sales associate in California and was in eighth place nationwide.
Samaha’s sales manager was fired in 2012 for reasons that are confidential, but according to Samaha, his new boss also made offensive comments. The new manager told Samaha to “bring up his ISIS numbers because he should be an expert on that topic,” among other disparaging comments.
Samaha was fired in late 2014 after being accused of failing to dust the phones after being asked to do so, and also for using excessive data on his company cell phone. Samaha denies both charges.
In his lawsuit, Samaha claims that he was harassed and discriminated against based upon his race, religion, and nation origin. He also claims that he was wrongfully terminated and was illegally retaliated against for his complaints to the company.
Under both federal and state law, discrimination in the workplace against someone based on their race, national origin, and religion are illegal. If a supervisor, a coworker, or even a customer or client continually harasses and discriminates against an employee, that employee can sue the company for damages, which could include lost wages, lost benefits, emotional damages, and more.
At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty and Seth I. Rosenberg believe that no employee should be subjected to discrimination and harassment at work based on race, religion, or national origin. If you are in the Oakland-San Francisco area and have faced discrimination at work, call the experienced Oakland national origin discrimination attorneys at Liberty Law at 510-645-1000 or 415-896-1000. We work with clients throughout the Bay area, and we will provide you with a free consultation on your case. Call us today to learn more or to schedule your free consultation.