Abdelkader v. Sears (D. Md. 2011): Employment Discrimination Case

Plaintiff Skwikar Abdelkader alleged a Title VII violation against her former employer, Sears, for failing to accommodate her religion (Islam). The plaintiff alleged that Sears failed to accommodate her religious beliefs by asking her for work on Fridays (the day of communal Muslim prayer services) and on Muslim holidays; she also alleged that the company retaliated against her after she reported the alleged discrimination internally to the Human Resources department. The defendant responded that they neither forced her to work those days nor punished her for refusing to do so; it further noted that she was fired because she violated company policy by allowing a cashier to use her management discount card without the direct supervision required. The Court concluded that the plaintiff failed to present a prima facie case of discrimination or retaliation, finding that the company equally punished non-Muslims for misuse of the discount card. On that basis, the Court held that no disparate treatment occurred and therefore granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment.

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