Muslim employee terrorized after Sept. 11

Arab worker faced discrimination at work after Sept. 11, but not in his termination: Tribunal
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal has found a B.C. company discriminated against an employee of Middle Eastern background after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks but did not discriminate against him when he was fired less than two years later.

Ghassan Asad, 38, was a Muslim from Saudi Arabia who immigrated to Canada in 1998. In August 2000, he began working with Vancouver-based Kinexus Bioinformatics, a company that works on new biological discoveries and disease treatments. Asad’s role and responsibilities quickly grew, and after a positive performance review in August 2001, he received a significant raise that was the largest in the company.

Around the same time, Asad received his Canadian citizenship. As a way of celebrating, he decided to take a trip to famous cities in Canada and the United States. He went to Toronto, Niagara Falls, Ont., Buffalo, N.Y., Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., Cleveland, Detroit and Windsor, Ont., before flying back to Vancouver. He showed his co-workers photographs from his trip and wrote about in the company newsletter.