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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Anti-Arab Racial Slur Prompts Lawsuit In Mendicino

The U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission has filed a suit against a Mendocino County restaurant for discriminating against a Moroccan dining room manager by firing him after he protested a customer's mistreatment of an Arab waiter from Tunisia.

The suit, brought on behalf of Abdellatif Hadji against the Albion River Inn, was filed by the San Francisco District office of the EEOC in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The suit alleges that that an Arab waiter from Tunisia under Hadji's supervision was harassed by a customer and when Hadji came to his defense, the customer said, "If you don't like it, why don't you go back to your country?'' and "I fought two wars to get rid of people like you!'' When Hadji refused to apologize to the customer, he was fired.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from punishing employees for opposing workplace discrimination, including harassment by customers.

The commission found that Hadji would not have been fired were he not of Arab national origin. [Link]

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