CAIR-Columbus Files Wrongful Termination Suit; Claims Religious Discrimination

The Council on American-Islamic Relations chapter in Columbus (CAIR-Columbus), Ohio has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit on behalf of Yusuf Sufi against Exel, according to NBC4. The claim alleges that Sufi was terminated after he requested accommodation from Exel to pray at a local mosque on Fridays, which was rejected.

“The manager say, ‘If you go pray, you fired,’…I feel bad,” Sufi told reporters. Federal regulations stipulate that employers must make “reasonable accommodations” for workers when it comes to religious practices.

The lawsuit claims that Sufi was initially granted this accommodation at Exel, only to have it revoked when a new manager was assigned to oversee Sufi. The new manager denied his request to visit the mosque on Fridays.

“Exel is  committed to providing an equal opportunity workplace,” Exel Vice President of Communications Lynn Anderson told NBC4 in a press release. “We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and we are dedicated to ensuring that our workplaces are respectful and sensitive to the religious and ethnic practices of our employees. While Exel has not received official notice of the lawsuit announced by CAIR-Columbus, the allegations outlined in the CAIR-Columbus press release neither confirm nor align with the way we do business in any of our sites. Exel has not terminated anyone for religious practices or requests for accommodations.”

There seems to be a disconnect between Exel and Sufi’s recollection of events. If Exel cannot provide a reason for their termination of Sufi, it may find itself in hot water.

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Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles discrimination attorneys