KANSAS CITY - A Kansas City woman who converted from Christianity to Islam has been awarded $5 million in punitive damages by a jury who found the telecommunications giant AT&T created a "hostile work environment" after her conversion, according to a judge's order issued Friday.
Susann Bashir, a 41-year-old married mother, sued AT&T unit Southwestern Bell for what she said was a pattern of offensive and discriminatory conduct by her supervisors that began when she converted to Islam in 2005, six years after she started working for the company as a network technician.
After Bashir started wearing a religious head scarf known as a hijab, and attending Friday mosque services, her managers and co-workers called her names including "terrorist," and told her she was going to hell, said her attorney Amy Coopman.
A manager repeatedly told her to remove her hijab, insulted her for wearing it, and once physically grabbed Bashir and tried to rip the hijab off her head, according to the suit.
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