Ford Engineer Wins Case Against Employment Discrimination and How You Can, Too

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Workplace discrimination comes in many forms, and some of the best-known companies have been reprimanded for this at one time or another. Sometimes these problems can be handled through HR, but unfortunately, it’s not always taken seriously and the treatment is allowed to continue. In some workplaces, the person who has been victimized even faces retaliation instead of support. If this should happen, it’s worthwhile to seek outside legal assistance in order to set things right and hold the company accountable.

Recent Example of Discrimination

This past March in Michigan, Ford was ordered to compensate their former engineer with $17 million for discriminative and abusive treatment by two supervisors. The Arab man, Faisal Khalaf, allegedly endured constant aggression, intimidation, and demeaning treatment by two supervisors about his heritage and his accent. He is a legal American immigrant who was born in Lebanon.

Khalaf, who holds a PhD in industrial engineering and was an employee for 15 years, went from being a highly respected engineer with a “top achiever” rating to being deprecated and forced to perform lowly duties for his new supervisor, such as serving as “his personal coffee boy,” according to Khalaf’s lawyer Carol Laughbaum.

A high-level executive berated him week after week, and his supervisors, Bennie Fowler and Jay Zhou, allegedly screamed at him aggressively about his accent and how he spoke English. According to the New York Post, they even banged their fists on the table and yelled things like, “What is wrong with you? Why don’t you understand this?” This treatment of Khalaf began in 2012 when Fowler became his supervisor and it continued under Zhou in the beginning of 2013. Khalaf managed to continue working under these conditions for almost an entire year.

Eventually, the workplace bullying pushed Khalaf into a medical leave due to severe stress. When he finally filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights for the discrimination charge, he was terminated from his job.

Meanwhile, Fowler was allowed to retire from his job in 2017 and Zhou remains Ford’s executive technical leader for quality. Ford still refuses to acknowledge these abusive allegations. They are working to alter the verdict in whatever way they can. This is not Ford’s first discrimination case. In fact, late last year it settled a case for sexual discrimination.

What Can You Do If You Face Employment Discrimination?

If you find that your workplace is hostile or oppressive towards you based on any of the following items, you deserve to have a qualified lawyer fighting alongside you to help set things right. Click here to find an employment attorney near you. There are many types of discrimination, and they are:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race/Ethnicity/Color
  • Religion
  • National Origin
  • Sexual preference
  • Disability
  • Genetic information
  • Pay rate/Compensation
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual Harassment/ Harassment