Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn has been ordered to take a workplace discrimination class after a chemistry professor charged she was fired for being a Muslim. Hanaa Khalil, who filed a complaint with the city’s Human Rights commission, was also awarded $7,700 in back wages and $10,000 in damages.
NY DAILY NEWSA 46-year-old Egyptian immigrant who lives in Queens, Khalil said things soured when she showed up at the Department of Physical Sciences and the secretary spotted her head scarf. “She turned her face when she looked at me … she turned her face like she saw something real bad,” (She DID!) Khalil told The News. “It was clear to me it was because they found out that I was a Muslim.”
In court papers, Khalil said she had posted her résumé on a CUNY website and Kingsborough secretary Maureen Sharkey hired her sight unseen in March 2009. When Khalil arrived the next day, she claimed Sharkey took one look at her and asked for her ID “in a dismissive tone.”
Sharkey gave her a hard time about not having her Social Security card, even though she produced a green card, passport and driver’s license, Khalil said. (EVERY employer requires a SS card)
Khalil said when she used a computer, a security guard closely watched her, then called Sharkey and said, “Now she’s making changes. I thought she only needed to print.” The final straw was when Sharkey wouldn’t let her use a laptop to make a Power Point presentation and told her to use the chalkboard instead.
Khalil said when she took a series of gripes to the human resources department, Mikalopas showed up with two guards and told her, “You’re terminated.” Mikalopas declined to discuss the case. A reporter who called Sharkey was told she no longer worked in the department.
Kingsborough spokeswoman Ruby Ryles said the college denies the allegations. “The college fully complies with all city, state and federal anti-discrimination laws as well as the City University of New York anti-discrimination policies,” Ryles said.
Somebody should put out a book that lists all Muslim names, so employers could check in advance. Muslims cause more problems in the workplace for employers than any other ethnic group.