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Muslim man claims bias at Dearborn Wal-Mart

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Louay Kezy, a former stockroom clerk at a Wal-Mart store in Dearborn, has filed a $12 million lawsuit claiming he was harassed and fired because of his Arab and Muslim heritage.

Kezy, who worked at the store from March to August 2008, claims that co-workers made terrorist jokes and hostile remarks such as “We hate you all” and “I want to punch you in the face.” When he complained, the lawsuit alleges, managers denied him breaks, cut his hours and shuffled him from department to department. Ultimately, Wal-Mart fired him.

Wal-Mart spokesman Greg Rossiter told The Associated Press the Dearborn store “has gone to great lengths to serve the community.” According to Wal-Mart officials, the Dearborn store was the first in the region to cater to the local Arab and Muslim population, which is one of the largest in the nation.

Before opening the store in March 2008, Wal-Mart consulted with representatives from the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The company offered cultural sensitivity training to employees, hired 35 Arabic-speaking employees and offered products tailored to the needs of Arab and Muslim shoppers.

According to Kezy, those efforts were mere window dressing. His lawsuit seeks lost wages and benefits plus compensation for mental and emotional distress.

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