Muslim man claims he was fired from job over beard in US

Alcantara was asked by the HR manager if he was, 'seriously following the Muslim religion'

Web Desk November 09, 2015

A Muslim man has filed a lawsuit against Bed Bath & Beyond, a chain of domestic merchandise retail stores in the United States, saying he was fired because of his beard.

Jose Alcantra, 48, said he was growing his beard because of his religion and claimed he was subjected to months of mistreatment from his colleagues at Bed Bath & Beyond over his facial hair.

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Reports stated that co-workers called him a 'terrorist' on many occasions, and he eventually lost his job for missing work after his supervisor tinkered with his vacation schedule, according to the lawsuit.

Further, the lawsuit points to an incident in February 2013, where an HR representative approached Alcantara and asked "What's going on with the beard?"  It was then, that Alcantara explained he was growing it because of his faith.

Alcantara said that following his declaration, co-workers immediately started to treat him differently by. Some of his fellow employees greeted him with, “Good morning, terrorist. How are you terrorist?”

On a later date, Alcantara was asked by the HR manager if he was, “seriously following the Muslim religion.” The HR representative allegedly said that the store manager had been pestering her about Acantara’s beard, to which, Alcantara responded with, “I’m still following my religion and there is no problem with my beard.”

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Kellie Marsalli, the store manager, then became, “short-tempered, abrupt, and extremely hostile,” toward Alcantara, the lawsuit explains.

Soon after, Alcantara was fired after he requested to take time off between between December 23, 2013 to January 2, 2014. After his holiday was approved he learned that his work schedule provided him with two additional days off. However, when he returned to work in the New Year, he was approached by Marsalli, who fired him for not showing up for those two days.

Alcantara claimed the schedule was tampered with to make it look like he was scheduled to work the additional days, and his lawsuit includes a photo of the original schedule.

Defending itself  in a statement, Bed Bath & Beyond said, "Bed Bath & Beyond strictly prohibits any form of harassment or unlawful discrimination. We disagree with the characterisation of the separation that was provided. We will respond to this matter in the appropriate forum, should any further legal action be taken."

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Alcantara’s lawyer, Adam Slater, said, “My client is a hard-working guy. It’s not right that he was systematically targeted, ridiculed, and ultimately terminated, simply for practicing his religion openly.”

Alcantara converted to Islam while watching his mother-in-law suffer from cancer. The lawsuit has been filed in Manhattan Supreme Court and the date of the trail has not yet been set.

Many took to Twitter as the lawsuit began making headlines:

This article originally appeared on AOL


Mrs HighBall | 6 years ago | Reply @G.Din: And that includes Sikhs, or is there some special dispensation for them ?!!
charles | 6 years ago | Reply If the PM and COAS in the Land of the Pure don't wear a beard it's apparent to the West that wearing a beard has zero to do with being a pure Muslim. Nuff said?
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