A former port director for the Immigration and Naturalization Service in Port Everglades, Florida has prevailed in his discrimination case against the Department of Homeland Security.
Simon Abi Nader, a Lebanese-American, claimed in a lawsuit he was verbally abused by supervisors of the Immigration and Naturalization Service which is now part of the Department of Homeland Security.
Nader claimed he was abused, harassed and humiliated by supervisors in front of other federal employees because of his Lebanese national origin and his Arab-American race. The attacks against his national origin increased after the September 11 attacks on Washington, DC and New York.
In his lawsuit, Nader alleged that a supervisor made comments about his ”camels” and his ”tents in the desert” in an effort to humiliate him. The supervisor also made fun of Nader’s accent and asked him if he was “sitting on his prayer rug.”
Nader has been reassigned to a job without managerial responsibilities in 2002. He had been the port director for about 10 years prior to that time and was a federal employee with about 24 years of service.
The 8-person jury returned a verdict of over $300,000 in favor of Mr. Nader, finding that he had been subjected to a hostile and abusive work environment because of his national origin, Lebanese, and race, Arab-American. The jury further also concluded the harassment damaged his career and caused emotional pain and humiliation.