In his complaint, Mr. Shadeh, a United States citizen, alleges that he was discriminated against and ultimately fired because he is Arab. During his employment, Mr. Shadeh alleges that he was referred to as a camel jockey, subjected to humiliating ethnic jokes, and informed by his coworkers that Arabs are “the new n——.”
In April 2013, shortly after the Boston Marathon Bombing, another manager at Glenn Auto, Charles Bush, came to work wearing a turban, fake bomb vest, back pack and pretended to make bombs near a prayer rug at his Glenn Auto Mall work station. Mr. Bush looked at Mr. Shadeh and said it was “your people” who did this. A picture of Mr. Bush from that day – which is an Exhibit in Mr. Shadeh’s federal complaint – is pictured above. A larger version of the picture is available here. The FBI later came to Glenn Auto Mall to allegedly investigate a potential hate crime.
Glenn did not fire Mr. Bush for this, but transferred him to another building, fired Mr. Shadeh a few weeks later, and transferred Mr. Bush back. Glenn Auto Mall allegedly fired Mr. Shadeh due to his “ineffectiveness as a manager” when another Glenn Auto Mall employee submitted a finance application with false information. Incredibly, the actual employee who submitted that finance application was not fired, only Mr. Shadeh and, days later, Mr. Bush was transferred back.
Michael Hanna, a discrimination attorney at Morgan & Morgan, P.A. and President of the ADC South Florida Chapter explains, “This appears to be a textbook case of discrimination/retaliation, and if proven to be true, would constitute clear violations of federal anti-discrimination laws. It is alarming to see that this sort of thing happen in this day and age. I think the American public has shown, as indicated in recent events, that they will not tolerate this sort of behavior against minorities.”
ADC President Samer Khalaf said, “It is unfortunate and shocking that members of the Arab American community still face this type of discrimination. For over 30 years ADC has worked to address such issues, and we feel confident that justice will be served in this matter.”
Easa Shadeh expressed, “I couldn’t believe it. I lost my job because someone came to work dressed like a cartoon terrorist, discriminated against me, and said it was “my people” who did this. My grandfather served in World War I and I’ve lived in this country my entire life. I don’t think Mr. Bush realizes that my people are also his people: Americans.“
Background: Morgan & Morgan, P.A. is a leading consumer firm dedicated to protecting the people, not the powerful. American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee is the largest Arab American grassroots organization committed to protecting civil rights, promoting mutual understanding, and preserving the Arab American cultural heritage.
Note: Mr. Easa Shadeh is available to answer questions through his counsel at Morgan, & Morgan, P.A., Michael Hanna, at 248-722-6453.