For more than 10 years, Susann Bashir worked as a fiber optics network builder for AT&T in Missouri. The Kansas City Star reports that she was subjected to daily religious discrimination and harassment during the last three years of her employment there—co-workers called her a "towelhead," and asked if she planned to blow up the building.
She was already pursuing a religious discrimination case against her employer when, one day, her boss grabbed her head-scarf and exposed her hair during a routine meeting in his office. The head and hair are considered a "private part" for Muslim women, so snatching her hijab was perceived as a powerful personal violation.
Snip from The Kansas City Star:
More on the case in this Associated Press item.
Bashir sued, and this week a Jackson County jury awarded her $5 million in punitive damages against Southwestern Bell/AT&T. (...) Thursday’s overall award appears to be the largest jury verdict for a workplace religious discrimination case in Missouri history.
(Thanks, Oxblood Ruffin; thumbnail of photo via KC Star by Todd Feeback)
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.