From Associated Press
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A former Kansas City woman who converted to Islam in 2005 said she was harassed for years at AT&T, and that the abuse boiled over in 2008 when her boss snatched her head scarf and exposed her hair.
A Jackson County jury on Thursday awarded Susann Bashir $5 million in punitive damages in her discrimination lawsuit, along with $120,000 in lost wages and other actual damages.
The Kansas City Star reported Saturday the award appears to be the largest jury verdict for a workplace discrimination case in Missouri history.
Bashir said in court documents that her work environment became hostile immediately after she converted, with her co-workers making harassing comments about her religion and referring to her hijab as “that thing on her head.”
“I was shocked. I thought, ‘What is going on?’” she told the newspaper. “Nobody ever cared what I wore before. Nobody ever cared what religion I was before.”