Abdullah Haydar (right), a former Amazon.com manager in Michigan is suing the online retail giant, alleging that he was discriminated against, subjected to falsified performance reviews and later fired, primarily because he is a Muslim of Syrian descent…even though the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commissiondismissed his charges.
GeekWire Haydar alleges that disparaging remarks were made about him during his time at Amazon, including “ethnically and religious tinged comments” about his marriage, including one alleged comment that indicated that Muslims do not treat their wives properly.
The former Muslim manager in the company’s Seattle and Detroit offices from 2012 to 2015, on Friday morning filed suit against Amazon and three of his former supervisors — Garret Gaw, Peter Faricy and Joel Mosby — in U.S. District Court Eastern Michigan, Southern Division.
Vicki Levengood, communications director for Michigan Department of Civil Rights, confirmed that a complaint was filed and processed earlier this year by EEOC. EEOC did not return a phone call requesting comment, and EEOC said on its website that cases are unavailable for third parties, including media organizations.
Haydar, a Muslim Citizen of Syrian descent, continues to allege he was repeatedly subjected to demeaning comments directed at his national origin, religion, and marital status, given false and derogatory performance reviews, passed over for promotion in favor of less successful Caucasian peers, and denied transfers and other career opportunities. Haydar alleges that he escalated his claims of discrimination to human resources at Amazon, which he said repeatedly sided with the defendants.
Haydar is asking for a jury trial and wants compensation for the emotional and physical toll of the abuse from his superiors, as well as lost wages and benefits.
In early 2014, Haydar transferred to an office in his hometown of Detroit. In May of that year, he received a negative performance review, which he disputed. He escalated the issue to HR, which did not change the results of the review.
Haydar alleges he challenged his supervisor Joel Mosby about his performance review in a one-on-one meeting. “Apparently due to Mr. Mosby’s discriminatory animus and displeasure at being challenged for his behavior by a Muslim and Arab American, Mr. Mosby immediately sought HR approval to place Mr. Haydar on a (performance improvement plan),” court documents say.
Haydar said he tried to transfer to another team to escape the discrimination he faced, but was unable to do so because of negative performance reviews. Haydar alleges that he heard from HR that he should should look for a new job because he was not a “good fit” for Amazon.