Thursday, August 9, 2012

EEOC: "Terrorists" Settle for $400,000

The EEOC reports that an employer paid $400,000 to settle a harassment and retaliation lawsuit with a bunch of "terrorists." I'm putting that word in quotes because that's what their manager allegedly called them, not because they are actually terrorists:
The EEOC’s lawsuit charged that Fremont Toyota’s general manager singled out four Afghan American salesmen during a staff meeting, calling them “terrorists” and threatening them with violence. After the men reported the harassment, they faced retaliation by the car dealership, such as additional verbal harass­ment and extra job scrutiny. Finally, the salesmen felt they had no option but to resign. An Afghan-American manager was also fired from his job after he spoke up for the four salesmen.
Needless to say, employers shouldn't assume people are terrorists based on their national origin. My guess is that the manager didn't actually think they were terrorists, he or she just thought it was a funny joke. It should be needless to say (but apparently there is a need) that you shouldn't make fun of someone's national origin by calling them "terrorists" either.

Where are they now? According to the EEOC report:
"The irony of this matter is that, after being labeled 'terrorists' at our old job, most of us found work with the U.S. military serving in Afghanistan protecting U.S. soldiers from the terrorists," said Mohammad Sawary, one of the former employees.
Car salesman to protecting soldiers from terrorists in Afghanistan . . . sounds like an odd transition.

Image: EEOC seal is public domain as work of U.S. government, used in commentary on EEOC. Not official use.