A New York firefighter and practicing Muslim who has said that he has endured years of harassment due to his race and religion has settled his federal court lawsuit with the city and a lieutenant.
“Raheem Hassan, 31, filed suit earlier this year alleging race discrimination, religious discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, discrimination under state law, discrimination under city law, and violations of his First, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment Rights,” reports the web site firelawblog.com. “Among the more outrageous of the many allegations were that colleagues fed Hassan meals prepared using pork and bacon intending to for him violate his religious beliefs; took photos of their genitals next to his face while he was sleeping; and had him arrested after he called his company officer to complain about the abuse saying “I’m going to kill the guys in the firehouse.”
The $225,000 settlement calls for the city to pay $224,000 and Lieutenant David Hughes to pay $1,000, the web site said. “Under the terms of the settlement, neither the city nor Lt. Hughes admitted to any wrongdoing.”
According to the New York Post, Hassan’s attorney Aymen Aboushi said the settlement “is an acknowledgment that Hassan was subject to an inappropriate work environment. … The fact that Hughes had to pay proves Raheem did not do what he was accused of.”
According to the Associated Press, Hassan had filed a federal lawsuit in March last year, saying he had been subjected to a hostile work environment at Engine 309/Ladder 159 in Brooklyn starting in 2015.
“He said that included anti-black racial slurs and co-workers cooking food for communal meals that included pork but falsely telling him otherwise. He said he was retaliated against when he complained,” AP reported.
According to silive.com, “the suit alleges he endured being called a “n——-” and was asked to apologize for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. During the encounters with other minorities, Hassan’s co-workers allegedly told him “you guys should stick together,” “you don’t belong here,” and “why don’t you transfer?” “…Fellow firefighters would tell him that ‘black firefighters are lazy and no one wants to work with them,’ and anytime that plaintiff was around other firefighters of color, other white firefighters would call it a ‘Vulcan meeting’ (referring to the Vulcan club, a professional organization for firefighters of color),” the filing said.
In December 2017, Hassan was arrested while off duty after a supervisor called police saying he had made threats against the firehouse, which Hassan in his suit said was a false accusation, the news service continued. “At the time, the firehouse was shut down for a short time after the alleged threat phone call. He was charged with misdemeanor aggravated harassment but was given a deal by prosecutors that the charge would be dropped and the case sealed after six months if he remained out of trouble.”
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