IBM Worker Says He Was Fired For Being A Muslim

Posted on January 18, 2007


By Paul McDougall
Source: Information Week

A Muslim electronics engineer who developed five patents for IBM claims the computer maker fired him because of his religion and that managers at the company mocked him for refusing to eat during the Ramadan fast and once told him to ignore Islamic law and clean a knife that had been used to cut pork.

Mahmoud Mousa, who calls himself a “Jordanian Muslim American,” was employed at IBM’s microelectronics plant in Burlington, Vt., from June 2003 to December 2005, when he was fired because of his religious beliefs, according to a lawsuit Mousa filed last month in U.S. District Court in New York.

Mousa says IBM’s stated reason for the firing — that he had failed to show up for work — “was a pretext to mask the motivating factor behind his termination — discrimination on the basis of his religion and/or national origin,” according the suit. […]

Mousa also claims his $68,000 salary was considerably lower than salaries paid to co-workers with similar accomplishments. Mousa obtained five patents for IBM while at the company, including one for a means to create connections between vertically stacked circuits on computer chips, according to a search of a Web site that tracks patent filings.

He was fired in late December, 2005 for “abandoning his job,” despite having received formal approval for a leave of absence from IBM’s human resources department, Mousa claims. He is seeking unspecified damages from IBM. [Click here to read remainder of this article.]