ST. LOUIS (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced a lawsuit against KASCO LLC, a St.
Louis company that manufactures and sells butcher supplies and meat processing
equipment, for allegations of discriminating against an employee, Latifa
Sidiqi, for her adherence to Islam and her Afghan descent.
"Federal law has protected employees against
mistreatment because of their religion and national origin for more than 50
years," said James R. Neely, Jr., director of EEOC's St. Louis District
Office. "Protecting workers like Ms. Sidiqi when employers violate the law
is central to our mission."
EEOC alleges Sidiqi has worked for KASCO since 2008 and,
since 2012, she has practiced her religion more seriously. After that decision, EEOC
charges, a supervisor and others began making derogatory comments –
ridiculing her for fasting during Ramadan, wearing a hijab, and being of Afghan
descent. The situation came to a head during Ramadan 2013, when the company
allegedly fired her because of her religion and national origin.
EEOC seeks monetary relief and an order that would require
KASCO to develop anti-discrimination policies.
"Although Ms. Sidiqi's attempt to put a stop the
illegal discrimination she was facing should have been met with empathy and
swift corrective action, it instead ended in her firing,” said Andrea G. Baran,
EEOC's regional attorney in St. Louis. “Employers need to remember that
Title VII not only protects employees from underlying discrimination it also
protects them against retaliation when they complain."