Co-worker’s single slur isn’t enough to justify lawsuit

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Here’s some common sense from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals: A co-worker’s isolated idiotic comment isn’t enough to support an entire discrimination lawsuit.

Recent case: Shahab Saqib was fired from his accounting job and sued, alleging that he had been subjected to discrimination based on his Muslim religion and Pakistani national origins.

His entire lawsuit was based on one comment made by a co-worker. The fellow employee told Saqib—who was in the habit of wearing an overcoat to work even in warm weather—that the coat made him look “like a terrorist.”

The court tossed out the case, reasoning that a single incident wasn’t enough to warrant a lawsuit. The court called the case frivolous and forbade more lawsuits from Saqib without a judge’s permission. (Saqib v. Stein Devisser & Mintz, No. 09-CV-4624, 2nd Cir., 2010)


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