Islamic Law in U.S. Courts: EEOC v. Sunbelt Rentals (4th Cir. 2008): Hostile Work Environment Case

The EEOC represented an African-American Muslim suing his former employer under Title VII, alleging religious discrimination and a hostile work environment. The plaintiff claimed he had been the recipient of many offensive comments (such as being called a “towel head” and “Taliban”) and degrading actions (such as his co-workers hiding his time card while he was at prayer services). The Court reversed and remanded a decision by the District Court for the District of Maryland to grant the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. This Court held that a jury could find that the conduct was sufficiently severe or pervasive enough to warrant a hostile work environment and that his employer had notice of the ongoing conduct; it thus denied the defendant company’s motion for summary judgment and allowed the case to proceed.

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