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Michigan man awarded $1.1 million for religious discrimination

An almost historic settlement was recently awarded to a man who claims that he was wrongfully terminated from his job of 17 years. A Michigan county worker says that he was the victim of religious discrimination at his workplace. Apparently a jury agreed with him, because after six years of fighting for his rights, he was awarded a significant amount in damages.

Originally from Tunisia, the man immigrated to the United States more than 20 years ago and eventually became a citizen. He'd worked as a maintenance worker for a local Michigan county for 17 years when he lost his job. Despite the years that he spent in the same job, he claims that he continually missed out on opportunities for advancement and promotions, partly due to his beard.

His beard, which curls down to his chest, is apparently an important aspect of his religion. After the promotions kept passing him by, he was eventually fired. But it wasn't just his beard, he and his lawyer say. Despite his Tunisian roots, his lawyer points out that he appears to be Middle Eastern, which they say also played a role in his termination.

After he lost his job, the man was unable to secure more work. Eventually he lost his wife and family and was out on the streets, with no home and no money. However, he was recently awarded $1.1 million for the religious discrimination that ended his job and turned his world upside down. Apparently, this was one of the larger discrimination cases awarded to a Muslim man.

Source: CBS Detroit, Detroit Jury Awards Muslim Man A Record $1.1M In "Beard-Related" Discrimination Case, No author, Feb. 28, 2014

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