March 04, 2015

Costco accommodated a Muslim employee who refused to work with pork. Now he's suing them for religious discrimination

Rebel Staff

Does this sound like discrimination or accommodation to you?

A former Muslim employee at a Brooklyn, NY Costco refused work with pork, so he was reassigned to gathering carts outside.

Now, he's suing the company for religious discrimination.

Jean Camara told ABC News he was working as a cashier's assistant when pork came across the conveyor belt. He then told his managers he couldn't touch pork or alcohol because his Islamic beliefs forbid him from doing so.

Camara was then reassigned to gathering shopping carts outside, but claims his mangers never told him why he was reassigned.

He also reportedly kept asking to work in the electronics department inside, but was denied because there positions were not available.

This prompted Camara to file a human rights complaint against the company. He was fired 16 days later for insubordinate conduct.

“Just because you have a different belief, that doesn’t give anybody the right to treat you different,” Camara told ABC News.

Camara's attorney, Chauncey Henry, added, “It’s not OK to discriminate against someone for their religion. It isn’t OK. It isn’t OK to treat them differently from others because of what they believe.”

So, according to Henry, should Costco have made Camara continue to work as a cashier's assistant despite the fact he refused to work with pork? Is reassigning him away from a position where he'd work with pork discriminatory?

Or is denying him a position in the electronics department discriminatory?

“I think that as the case progresses in the trial we are in now, I think the facts are going to come out and they’re going to speak for themselves,” Henry said.

I guess we'll see won't we?

SOUND OFF in the comments: was Jean Camara being discriminated against? 

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commented 2015-03-04 22:24:13 -0500
So then let’s assume that you think liberty and freedom are just accidents that we’ve grown accustomed to. You surely can’t believe that the freedoms and liberties developed in first the English speaking nations then the rest of the western world are because maybe our faith of choice imbues us with amenability to it. If you feel threatened by my belief that the culture we have is superior and that it might make me sensitive to those that have been attacking it and it’s predecessor cultures for 1400 years then you surely do believe this is all an accident. You can try to channel Rand all you want and act is if you along exist in believing in liberty or you can be what you claim to be and realize there is a group of about 500 million people of 1.5 billion that oppose that very idea. Many of them live here, they cling to the worst of their faith and for all the time wacky christians make me laugh, I just don’t view turn the other cheek like I view slay the infidel where you find him. Honestly, if bigotry is what you fear then you don’t truly believe in freedom,but rather a version of it that meets your own constructs not those of each individual.
commented 2015-03-04 22:11:04 -0500
if i was going to worry, i would worry about terrorist attacks and not about a muslim i might happen to run into in the street or at work. i don’t actually worry about terrorist attacks, though, because it is exceedingly unlikely that i will be affected by one. as compared to, say, a car accident, or developing cancer.

my theory, which sadly confirmed when i read through a lot of the comments on this site, is that people focus on muslim extremism because they’re not comfortable with the way our country looks today – i.e. different from the way it was when they were young. change is hard, i get it. it’s jarring when not everyone looks and thinks the same way, when they used to, more or less. maybe i’m off base here, but that’s how it appears to me.

i wish would focus less on these kinds of stories. that’s just me, though. one lonely voice, forever preaching liberty and Freedom for all!
commented 2015-03-04 22:02:04 -0500
I’m in the realist crowd I’m not an actuary I don’t care how minute it may seem the Islamic faith presents a threat to modernity. If you want to ignore the Canadians and other westerners leaving to fight in the jihad and ignore the radical teaching in mosques in the GTA and pretend because there hasn’t yet been a major attack in Toronto then by all means do. I lived in North Jersey in 2001 and I can tell you how real a few radicals in caves half a world away can make terror in the blink of an eye. I can tell you I witnessed with my own eyes the joy on the faces of Muslims in journal Square that America got hit. Tomorrow that could be Toronto. I feel very safe here in Bruce County, but I wouldn’t want to think about where to take my family if some jihadi returns from the mid-east and attacks a subway station downtown. A threat is a threat and Islam poses a threat.
commented 2015-03-04 21:51:06 -0500
Prongay: are you lumping me in with “the PC crowd.” ok. do what you will, I guess. it’s your Freedom to do so. i prefer to think of myself as belonging to the realist crowd. one in 35 people in canada is muslim. if you were in the greater toronto area it is about 1 in 6. i guess i might start to have some pretty ugly thoughts and say some pretty outlandish things if i was living my life cowering in fear. but i prefer to see things for what they are.
commented 2015-03-04 21:43:37 -0500
Luckily for Costco this happened in New York and they will face a real employment law trial. If this happened here, the Ontario Human Rights kangaroo court would take the case and Costco would be hung out to dry. No need for a trial.
commented 2015-03-04 21:35:45 -0500
If you follow a religion that forbids you from touching pork, do not apply for a cashier job at Costco! Companies should be allowed to ask about religion, just to keep this kind of crap from happening.
commented 2015-03-04 21:19:24 -0500
Many come to Canada expecting to live free and are disappointed when they discover they actually have to work. Not being willing or able to touch pork or alcohol disqualifies you for jobs in grocery stores, meat packing plants, butcher stores, breweries and wineries, restaurants, and some warehouses and trucking companies to name just a few so here’s a thought: don’t apply to work there! I think he was looking for a way to get free money and any excuse would do.
commented 2015-03-04 21:02:57 -0500
John Galt so I bet those victims of “workplace violence” in FT. Hood or the people at the Boston Marathon were just targeted by Muslims randomly not because they were non-muslims. It’s quite simple of course it;s rare in the west to be a victim of Muslim terror, but whether it’s Cpl Cirillo, or a victim of the Beltway sniper it can occur. Unlike wacko Christian abortion bombers you don’t have a clue where the next Muslim attack will come from, nor that it won’t kill thousands, these people target civilians and go for maximum damage, whether it be 1 or 3000. Time for the PC crowd to stop pretending it isn’t as bad as it is.
commented 2015-03-04 20:42:54 -0500
I don’t get discrimination. I’m a short white male. All the tall guys get the best jobs. Is that it? I don’t get special rights. I earn them. My family has been here since 1900 and none of them got special rights ether
commented 2015-03-04 19:35:28 -0500
Costco meats are the best. I love pork back ribs.
commented 2015-03-04 19:33:30 -0500
If your afraid of water, don’t get a job at a swimming pool… Same gos here!!!
commented 2015-03-04 19:29:17 -0500
TOM GREEN: You, sir are a lucky man. I don’t normally buy meat at Costco, but I have, and I have had leaks. But neither you or I are good examples because we see only our own. A cashier would see 100’s a day, and simple random chance says there will be a leak every once and a while.
But again, even if there aren’t – it doesn’t matter. Technicalities pertaining to a plastic barrier between the person and the meat do not fly with rules of faith. Most muslims won’t even allow a pig to be in their presence, nevermind touch it. Its not a belief I share, and I think that people who come to our country, founded on Judeo-Christian values should adapt to our values – but alas, “multiculturalism, multiculturalism”…. bleh….
commented 2015-03-04 19:15:11 -0500
Fact is this happens regularly. It is called lawfare. Muslims use the courts to intimidate.
commented 2015-03-04 19:09:45 -0500
Robert I buy Costco back ribs all the time. No leaks. No wipe downs.
commented 2015-03-04 19:06:49 -0500
Robert I buy C. No wipe down either. ostco back ribs all the time. No leaks yet.
commented 2015-03-04 19:05:00 -0500
“Just because you have a different belief, that doesn’t give anybody the right to treat you different.” But – this employee DEMANDED to be “treated different”!
commented 2015-03-04 19:04:04 -0500
I know of many that have an aversion to any work. Most of them hire on only to receive a paycheck and are unhappy in the position they applied for because their religion forbids them lowering themselves to “work” for a living. When asked about their religion they say they are forbidden to name it or give any information about it.
It seems to me at least that drugs alone are not the problem but an adjunct to a more serious problem yet they refuse to commit suicide as so far the money they receive is adequate but they still ask or want more.
There are many different religions but only a very few stand out with this particular set of problems, for now.
commented 2015-03-04 18:59:29 -0500
seems like this fellow is better suited to working in a country that not only shares his beliefs, but actually has NO human rights at all.
commented 2015-03-04 18:58:18 -0500
To everyone who keeps commenting on how the pork is “wrapped” and therefore there is no religious prohibition on handling it. The fact that it is packaged is irrelevant. But even if it was relevant, have you ever shopped for meat? Have you ever had a package of meat leak on you? Have you ever had to have the cashier place it in a bag and wipe down the countertop because meat juices had leaked? All of us have. Do you believe Costco packaging is impervious to such issues? Of course not. But even if it was, its still irrelevant. Whether a person is Catholic, or Muslim, or whatever, we all know that finding technicalities to skirt the law is, in and of itself a violation of the law. Religious laws don’t work on technicalities. The spirit of the law is supreme. And so, even if the world was perfect and packages never leaked – that’s not the point. A Muslim of faith who would be handling pork would know in their heart that they were doing something wrong, and that, in and of itself, would make it a sin. That’s it.
commented 2015-03-04 18:54:54 -0500
Tom: “The only reason “The Rebel” propaganda is telling you about this one is because the person in question in Muslim.” That’s kinda the point, isn’t it? Only Muslims and Jews have a problem touching pork, as far as I know. And I’ve never heard of a Jewish person making this kind of stink about it. So, yes, it’s news, not because it involves a Muslim, but because it involves a Muslim using the legal system here in North America against itself in the name of political correction. I suppose someone could say they don’t want to touch pork because it’s “icky” or something, but only Muslim would create from his own imagination a problem here that can unfortunately only be solved with buckets of money and a logjam in the courts, with the appropriate media coverage, of course! You can’t say this has no application here in Canada as we have had issues like this for decades already, right here in the frozen north. The turban issue in the RCMP was decades before SUN news took to the air, and that’s just one thing I came up with without even thinking about it. So, yes, it’s Muslims again. Get used to it.
commented 2015-03-04 18:41:44 -0500
JOHN GALT: No, I am not thinking of another group. Gangs of radical Amish are wandering our city streets, beating nearly to death anyone who doesn’t share their beliefs. Its a serious problem that requires a serious response. We need to thank people like JOAN ABERNETHY for pointing out the issue with the Amish (and every other group you can think of), and ensuring that we are aware of this horrendous problem. And while we are at it, lets take down the radical Jews too.. those people are the worst!
commented 2015-03-04 18:36:39 -0500
Robert Barnes, i think you are mistaken. the amish are pacifists, and i haven’t heard of them blowing things up. maybe you’re thinking of a different group.
commented 2015-03-04 18:26:35 -0500
Joan Abernethy: Yup, just like all those violent Catholics, Mormons, Hutterites and Amish! I’m so sick of these people setting stuff on fire, blowing things up and killing people in the streets! Someone needs to do something about the Amish!!!
commented 2015-03-04 18:25:21 -0500
“He also reportedly kept asking to work in the electronics department inside, but was denied because there positions were not available. "
GRAMMAR CHECK! “because there positions were not available”?? C’mon guys! You can do better than this!!
commented 2015-03-04 17:50:05 -0500
Richard idiot they happen regularly. IN the UK Subway had to accommodate Muslims. I could make you a list but you are a waste of space. The US alone would make an impressive list.
Yes I am a fan of Ezra and I disagree on religion etc but he is a great man with lots of Muslim friends like Trek Fatah. Your an idiot. Wear it!
commented 2015-03-04 17:48:57 -0500
I thought he wanted to be discriminated by asking the company to allow him to refuse to handle pork because of his religion. Now he’s suing the company for receiving the same treatment that he asked for. Head. To. Desk.
commented 2015-03-04 17:39:55 -0500
TOM GREEN: Oh look yet another Ezra fanboy throwing around insults without any actual argument to make as if calling someone an “idiot” is a counter-point (though it seems to Ezra Levant it’s just standard procedure to make accusations without fact). So predictable.

How many events like this happen everyday in the U.S.? The only reason “The Rebel” propaganda is telling you about this one is because the person in question in Muslim. It’s really sad Ezra fans can’t see how they are playing right into the hands of those who wish to take away their freedom and liberty but are so obsessed with their own racism and bigotry that any “report” that confirms their bias (which will be used against them) is a good report. If this exact same report was about a Christian on the CBC you’d all be freaking out at the discrimination.
commented 2015-03-04 17:28:19 -0500
Richard Fantin you truly are an idiot.
commented 2015-03-04 17:22:57 -0500
john Galt I’m glad you think you are safe. Out security is so far doing a great job.
commented 2015-03-04 17:15:47 -0500
Joan, you are correct, i should have been more precise. i said “folks on the right,” which is ambiguous. i should have said “some folks on the right.” i certainly don’t mean all of the right. that would be unfair, and demonstrably false.

Robert, i’m glad to see my comment provoked you to moderate your earlier statements (“I have an aversion to working with muslims because so many slaughter non-muslims”; “Muslims can be very scary when they are up close and personally decapitating people on a regular basis”). i do not deny the nexus of religion and violence. it’s terrible. but i see no reason to fear the muslim people i encounter in my daily life here in canada.