Lawsuit: Furniture business terminated salesman because of ethnicity, religion

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Nov. 21, 2013, 2:09pm

HOUSTON - A former furniture salesman claims he was fired because he is a Pakistani American who practices Islam.

In a lawsuit filed Nov. 19 in Houston federal court, Muhammad Aman Nomani accuses Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Star Furniture Co. of discriminating against him.

His complaints about the mistreatment prompted the defendants to sack him, the suit alleges.

Nomani, 59, worked for the businesses from Jan. 19, 2005, to April 30, 2012, starting at its Sugar Land location.

At the time of the events in question, the plaintiff was assigned to the respondents' store in southwest Houston.

Court papers explain that he adheres to the salat, a Muslim practice of praying five times a day, at the workplace, of which a superior allegedly disapproved.

The suit asserts the defendants made Nomani pray in a filthy room as well as consficated his prayer mat.

Because of his ethnicity and religion, the original petition states, the claimant was allegedly labeled "a terrorist from a Third World country."

The suit further claims that Nomani experienced more hostility and humiliation until he secured a transfer to his most current store.

He went on vacation to his native Pakistan, but was dismissed for alleged wrongdoing upon his return in late April 2012, the suit states.

Nomani was accused of stealing another sales associate's commission on a particular sale, which he insists is false.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Salar Ali Ahmed of Ali S. Ahmed P.C. in Houston is representing the complainant.

Case No. 4:13-CV-3422

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