CEDAR CITY, Utah — A Muslim man is suing his employer for employment discrimination, alleging he was harassed and fired for asking to take short prayer breaks and because of his religion, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Strinberg & Scholnick law firm, which filed the lawsuit.
Allan Goodson was an automotive technician at Bradshaw Chevrolet in Cedar City and converted to Islam while employed at the dealership. He said, when he asked his supervisor for permission to take two, five-to-ten minute prayer breaks at work, his supervisor denied him this religious accommodation.
Goodson also asked to shift his work hours so he could attend a one-hour religiously-mandatory congregational prayer on Friday, a request that Bradshaw allegedly denied to Goodson, but that the suit alleges the dealership approved for others, including for non-religious purposes.
“We filed this lawsuit just after Pioneer Day, a day meant to celebrate the Mormon pioneers who crossed the country to avoid religious discrimination and find a place to practice freely. It is appalling that almost 200 years later, a man holding different religious beliefs is suffering harassment and being denied the right to practice his religion here in Utah.” said attorney Lauren Scholnick.
After converting to Islam, Goodson says that his supervisor and other Bradshaw employees harassed him because of his faith, asking if he “blew up any buildings over the weekend” and said he should “change his name to Mohammad” and “marry a five-year-old-girl.”
When Goodson reported the discrimination to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the lawsuit alleges that Bradshaw terminated Goodson.
Goodson brought his case under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
“Allan’s received so much support from communities in Utah and across the country. We’re hopeful that this lawsuit will ensure that what happened at Bradshaw will never happen again,” said CAIR attorney Zanah Ghalawanji.
This story and information comes from our news partners at the Salt Lake Tribune.