A federal jury in Dallas has awarded Dr. Naiel Nassar more than $3.6 million after he sued the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) at Dallas for religious and race discrimination.
Nassar alleged that UTSW forced him to resign and interfered with his effort to get a job at another hospital. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas jury found that UTSW retaliated against Nassar, an infectious disease specialist who was born in Egypt and attended medical school there.
In 2001, UTSW hired Nassar, who became a U.S. citizen in 1990, as an assistant professor. Nassar, who also practiced in UTSW’s HIV clinic, claimed that the primary dispute started in 2004 when Dr. Beth Levine insisted that he begin billing for his clinical work. According to Nassar, Levine targeted him because of his race, national origin and Muslim background. He alleged that Levine made derogatory statements about his race and religion and that she told him “Middle Easterners were lazy.”
Nassar resigned and notified UTSW that he was filing a race and religious discrimination charge with the EEOC.
Nassar claimed that UTSW subsequently notified Parkland Health and Hospital System—where he had been offered a job—of the EEOC charge and recommended that it not hire him. After Parkland rescinded its job offer, Nassar filed suit alleging race and religious discrimination and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The jury’s award consists of $3.2 million in compensatory damages and $438,000 in back pay.