Islamic Law in U.S. Courts: Mayale-Eke v. Merrill Lynch (D.R.I. 2010): Court Upholds Discrimination Ruling

The Court denied defendant Merrill Lynch’s motion for summary judgment, adopting the opinion of the magistrate judge, which held that the employee established a prima facie case of discrimination. Plaintiff Abdul-Giyath Mayale-Eke sued his former employer and direct supervisor under Title VII, §1981, the Rhode Island Fair Employment Act, and the Rhode Island Civil Rights Act. The plaintiff alleged that, as a Muslim who had immigrated from Nigeria, he was treated differently and ultimately fired from his position as an investment specialist because of his race, national origin, and religion; specifically, he claimed that he was frequently asked questions about his heritage and was subject to derogatory comments. Defendant Merrill Lynch claimed that it fired plaintiff after giving him numerous warnings of his failure to meet set performance standards. The Court ultimately denied the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, concluding that the plaintiff had alleged enough specific facts to make the claim not just conceivable but plausible before a jury.

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