HR Management & Compliance

News Flash: Los Angeles Ordered To Pay $1 Million To Syrian-Born Worker

A Los Angeles jury recently awarded $1 million to Mustafa Rez, a waste management engineer for the city of Los Angeles who charged that he was discriminated against and harassed based on his national origin and Muslim religion. Rez claimed that after nine years of positive reviews, his problems started when he submitted a proposal that he said would save the city about $40 million—savings that would have made him eligible for a $50,000 bonus under a city incentive program. His supervisors allegedly told him the proposal “made people look bad.” Rez said one supervisor advised him to “watch his back” and made the comment that “You damn Middle Easterners don’t understand the system here. There’s not going to be any promotion for you.” Rez alleged he then received a negative evaluation and was denied promotions. He claimed that as a result of the treatment, he had a nervous breakdown and had to take disability leave.