Suburban Philly business faces allegations of discrimination and wrongful discharge

Jon Campisi Oct. 20, 2011, 2:33pm

A black man from Philadelphia who claims he was fired from his job as a laborer for a Montgomery County, Pa. company after only four months of employment has filed a federal job discrimination claim against the business and its owner, alleging he was terminated because of his race.

Bensalem, Pa. attorney Ari R. Karpf filed the federal lawsuit Oct. 18 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of Naim Scott of West Philadelphia.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are Elkins Park, Pa.-based Food For All, Inc., and the business’s owner, David Dobson, also of Elkins Park.

According to the complaint, Scott, who was hired by Food For All in the summer of 209 as a laborer and doer of other manual tasks, allegedly experienced constant harassment at the hands of a supervisor named Daut Dahiraj, also known as David Tariq, but more commonly referred to in the workplace as “Happy Hands.”

“Happy Hands belittled, embarrassed and made discriminatory comments to Plaintiff regularly during Plaintiff’s tenure with Defendants,” the lawsuit states.

Tariq allegedly told the plaintiff and other black employees that he “hates working with ya’ll people,” the suit claims.

“Happy Hands made discriminatory comments/statements on a continuous basis,” the complaint states.

The supervisor even physically threatened black employees, the suit claims, by holding a shovel and tree branch as if to hit them, acts he was never disciplined for.

The complaint states that Scott reported the aforementioned incident to his employer, also alleging that Tariq was a “racist,” and that the “health and safety” of Scott and other employees were in jeopardy.

“Upon information and belief, Defendant Dobson was aware of Happy Hands’ behavior toward black employees and did not deter the derogatory and discriminatory behavior,” the lawsuit states.

Scott was fired last year, after only four months of employment, after complaining of the racial discrimination, the suit claims.

The lawsuit contains counts of retaliation and wrongful termination, racial discrimination, and hostile work environment.

Scott seeks lost pay and benefits, future pay, actual damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, cost of the litigation and other expenses related to the court action.

The plaintiff is demanding a jury trial.

The federal case number is 2:11-cv-06498-BMS.

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