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Man allegedly harassed, arrested and fired for religious beliefs

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is working with an American Muslim man to help him fight back against the alleged discrimination he faced. The plaintiff worked for the Sheriff's Office in Orange County, Florida, as a deputy for approximately six years before he was fired. He believes he was discriminated against because of his religious beliefs.

The plaintiff claims that he was victim of a hostile work environment after some of the deputies began to label him a terrorist because of his Muslim beliefs. Furthermore, when he requested a religious accommodation so that he could fast during Ramadan, he was denied. Feeling that he was the victim of a hostile work environment, the plaintiff reached out to the office of professional standards about his mistreatment.

The man claims that he faced retaliation after he filed his complaint. The plaintiff was arrested two months later by his co-workers after being accused of trying to illegally obtain renter's insurance by staging a burglary. Although the charges were not pursued, the case was opened again after the plaintiff went back to work. Ultimately, the charges were dropped after the man agreed to participate in a pre-trial diversion program, but he was eventually fired.

The plaintiff believes that he was arrested as an act of retaliation because he had reported the religious discrimination. He has filed his case in a Florida federal court against the Sheriff's Office. Workplace discrimination of any kind can become a serious issue. When a victim has been aggrieved or lost a job because based on a legally protected status, he or she has the option to pursue legal action.

Source:, "Former deputy sues Orange County Sheriff's Office for religious discrimination", Elyssa Cherney, Nov. 19, 2015

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