Arab American Wins Jury Verdict of $305,000 in Employment Discrimination Case vs. Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice
Washington, DC, July 30–On July 26, a Florida jury awarded Simon Abi Nader, an Arab American, $305,000 in his employment discrimination suit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). Abi Nader was subjected to an abusive work environment based on his national origin/race. Abi Nader, an Area Port Director for the DHS, had routinely experienced discrimination, harassment and humiliation perpetrated by high-level agency officials while employed in the Miami District Office of the Department of Homeland Security Citizenship and Immigration Service (formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service under the Department of Justice).
According to Abi Nader, “the DOJ/INS prevented me, as an Area Port Director of three major ports, in South Florida from sharing my knowledge, my experience, and my abilities to prevent terrorists from entering this country. Immediately after 9/11, I was prohibited from leaving my office without notifying my immediate supervisor. On a daily basis, I had to inform him of every move I made and every person I contacted as the Area Port Director.” Rod Hannah, Abi Nader’s attorney added, “The jury’s verdict reflects their recognition that Mr. Nader’s civil rights, as those of all American workers, not just Arab-Americans, have substantial value in this post-9/11 world. Additionally, the fact that the jury returned a verdict for more than what we asked them for reflects a jury that was angry for being blatantly lied to, under oath, by the high-level agency witnesses who engaged in the discrimination and harassment.”
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) had been monitoring this case and numerous others as part of its daily work. ADC President Mary Rose Oakar noted, “This verdict upholds the civil rights of all Americans and provides much needed encouragement for countless Arab Americans who have been harassed, humiliated, and/or terminated from their employment in the post 9-11 climate.”
For more information, contact Laila Al-Qatami at ADC 202-244-2990 or Attorney Rod Hannah of Becker and Poliakoff at 954-985-4145.