Failure To Promote Muslim Man May Be Grounds For Discrimination

In the last several years since 9/11, the United States has witnesses an increase in anti-immigrant sentiment – with the unfortunate by-product being a dramatic rise in the number of national origin discrimination lawsuits. The EEOC explains national origin discrimination as “treatment someone less favorably because he or she is from a particular race, because of his or her ethnicity or accent, or because it is believe that he or she has a particular ethnic background. National origin discrimination also means treating someone less favorably at work because of marriage of other association with someone of a particular nationality.”

If you have questions about national origin discrimination, or believe that you may have been a victim or unlawful discrimination based on your national origin, we urge you to consult with an experienced Atlanta national origin lawyer right away.

A recent case examined the actions of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in denying a promotion to an employee who is a Muslim born in Algeria in favor of three white employees. In Ahmed v. Johnson, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit determined that evidence depicting a poor working environment with few promotions for racial minorities could person a reasonable jury to find that the DHS’s explanation for passing over the Muslim man was “pretext” for unlawful bias.

In layperson terms, pretext is an excuse offered by a company or business for taking an unlawful discriminatory action.

Here, the court noted “Given the historical evidence about a complete absence of black and Arab Deportation Officers in the Boston office … and an environment in which Hispanics … also felt discouraged about applying for promotion, this is not a case in which ‘allowing the failure-to-promote claim to go forward would be an invitation to the jury to engage in unbridled speculation.”

Further, as applied to Ahmed’s particular situation, evidence revealed that Ahmed had scored higher on the qualification exam than any of the selected candidates, and despite DHS’s claims that the other candidates were chosen based on their superior work experience and training, upon closer review the court found that DHS failed to conduct interviews or look at the other candidate’s personnel record, facts which undermine the agency’s stated rationale. As a result the court said that a jury could conclude, “that the officials falsely claimed to have sought the best candidates for the promotion.”

As a result, the First Circuit court overturned the lower court’s determination and allowed the case to proceed.

For more information or if you believe that you may have suffered national origin discrimination, please do not hesitate to contact the top Georgia employment discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.