A Muslim former employee of a Christian-based fast-food chain has sued the company claiming religious bias. In a lawsuit filed Monday, Houston resident Aziz Latif, 25, said Chick-fil-A's Christian stance runs deeper than simply being closed on Sundays, "The Houston Chronicle" reported.
Latif alleges that the Atlanta-based chain's corporate purpose to glorify God discriminates against its non-Christian employees. Latif claims he was fired a day after he refused to pray to Jesus during a training session in November 2000.
The lawsuit said a week before his firing, an evaluation reportedly praised Latif as a "great manager" who knew the "operation side of the business very well." He accuses the company of refusing to pay his medical bills and expenses incurred while a participant in Chick-fil-A's employee benefit plan. Latif - who was hired in 1996 -- is seeking reinstatement and damages for emotional distress, attorney's fees and back pay. Jerry Johnston, a spokesman for Chick-fil-A, said the company's well-known religious credo does not infringe upon employees' rights, the "Chronicle" reported.
Meanwhile, in response to religious discrimination charges brought by an Ohio Christian teacher, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has ordered the National Education Association (NEA) -- the nation's largest teacher union -- to stop its annual questioning of religious teachers who want to have their dues paid elsewhere because of objections to the union's liberal stance on issues.
"For years the NEA union has used this particular illegal scheme to intimidate and harass teachers of faith who dare to challenge their radical agenda," said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. "The EEOC's finding of a violation further underscores that the nation's largest teacher union has systematically persecuted people of faith."