Employment discrimination by the Department of Homeland Security.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees in the United States from discrimination based on nation of origin. Since the tragic events of September 11, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment has boiled over in the news and sometimes in the workplace.

A recent case before the United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit, found in favor of a man who claimed he was passed over for promotion based on his religion, race and national origin.

In the case of Ahmed v Johnson, the plaintiff, Tahar Ahmed is a Muslim and native of Algeria. Mr. Ahmed worked as an Immigration Enforcement Agent for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). His lawsuit alleges he is a victim of employment discrimination due to the actions of his employer, the United States Department of Homeland Security.

Mr. Ahmed was passed over for promotion in favor of three white ICE officers. In the original lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, the agency won a summary judgment against Mr. Ahmed. In its review of the case, the First Circuit found the following:

  • The work experience of Mr. Ahmed was more relevant to the position he sought than the work experience of the candidates chosen for promotion. The court notes “sparkling appraisals” of the attitude and work of Mr. Ahmed, in contrast to negative performance reviews on the part of one of the candidates promoted over Mr. Ahmed.
  • Unlike the other job candidates, Mr. Ahmed had superior language skills.
  • Mr. Ahmed provided convincing evidence of the “unwelcoming” nature of the Boston ICE office and its lack of promotion of minorities.

The appeals court found the case of Mr. Ahmed compelling. In vacating the summary judgment, the appeals court protected the employment discrimination claim of Mr. Ahmed.
If you suffer workplace discrimination due to race, religion or nation of origin in New York, speak with a skilled employment lawyer.