IHOP Sued For Employment Discrimination By Fired Muslim Managers

Categories: Biz, Legal Battles

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Flickr User Miss Oppenheimer
In pancake-related news that's already gone national, four Muslim men of Arab descent are suing IHOP, claiming they were all fired from their managerial positions at DFW-area locations because of their ethnicity and religion.

In the suit, filed Tuesday in federal court, Hussein Chamseddine claims that despite receiving consistently positive performance reviews, he and three other men, Rami Saleh, Brandon Adam and Chekri Bakro, were all fired over the course of less than a year from the IHOPs they managed in Plano, Fort Worth, Arlington and Burleson. All of them were replaced by white, non-Muslim managers.

Chamseddine says his replacement, Larry Hawker, told about 20 other managers at a meeting in March 2010 that "Arab men treat women poorly and with disrespect[;] we're going to let these people go and have new faces coming in." All the other plaintiffs say they overheard those remarks, the suit claims. One of them, Rami Saleh, was fired just weeks later for an "alleged incident" while he was counseling a female employee over a mistake she'd made.

The lawsuit follows a determination by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that all four men have the right to sue. In their decision, EEOC officials said witness testimony "confirms ethnically derogatory comments and unlawful harassment."

The complaint states that the men were all hired by John Anthraper, president and chief executive officer of Anthraper Investments, the franchise that owns several Texas IHOP locations. Alex Anthraper, John's son, took over around December 2009 or January 2010.

"Once he took over, Alex Anthraper, who is an Indian Christian, put increased pressure and scrutiny on the managers who were of Arab-ethnic origin and the Muslim faith," the complaint says. "Alex Anthraper fired Plaintiff Chamseddine, who was a District
Manager, and hired a new Caucasian Christian District Manager, Larry Hawker ("Hawker"), who openly made offensive comments towards the Plaintiffs due to their ethnicity and religion." The suit claims that all four men were fired without IHOP going through its standard termination procedure, in which several verbal and written warnings are supposed to precede termination.

Chamseddine also claims that even before the son took over the business, Anthraper the Elder made racist remarks: "For example, in and around August of 2007, some customers complained about one of the managers who was an Arab male. John Anthraper said to Chamseddine, 'The whole thing here is because you hire those fucking Arab friends of yours.'" Chamseddine says that Anthraper would email him every anniversary of September 11, advising him to have fellow Arab managers "lay low," and the he once likened Muslims waiting to break their Ramadan fast to "dogs waiting for their meal."

Alex Anthraper didn't immediately return a phone call asking for comment. The IHOP Corp. issued a statement which reads, in part:

"We believe the employment practices of our company and our independent franchisees are non-discriminatory and inclusive. We have a long history of supporting diversity in all aspects of our business. Our franchisee believes the allegations are without merit and looks forward to the fair conclusion of this matter."

The plaintiffs are asking for, among other things, back pay, damages for emotional distress, and for Anthraper Investments to be compelled to perform training on diversity and employment discrimination.

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Zamora Carl
Zamora Carl

like Sean replied I am surprised that some one able to earn $8718 in 1 month on the internet. did you look at this web link makecash16.comONLY

just_defending_whats right!
just_defending_whats right!

Ok first of all it doesnt matter what race you are these people were working there butts off and now you people say there terrorists well how do you know do you know these people no you dont and for your information the I in i-h-o-p stands for international so they should except all races and religions

astoogebyanyothername
astoogebyanyothername

When a muslim can reach the highest office to be held in this country....I think we've come a long way! :)

billmarvel
billmarvel

Personally I look forward to the day when a Druid can be president.

Ed D.
Ed D.

"Anthraper the Elder" is my favorite obscure Lord of the Rings character.

Albert
Albert

Another example?

NYT publishes full-page ad: "Time to leave the Catholic Church"

NYT refuses to publish full page ad: "Time to leave Islam".

Another example? Ask a  leftist who Ayaan Hirsi Ali is.

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

So, to cut to the chase: Your objection is that multiculturalism is applied inconsistently, or that it is applied at all? Your "examples" don't lead to any coherent idea.

Albert
Albert

My objection is that the left is very inconsistent in regards to the way they view religious beliefs, and that inconsistency is based in their consistent cowardice.

Albert
Albert

Thanks for playing , Bill.

billmarvel
billmarvel

Left or right, inconsistency is the life-blood of all political true-believers. One can scarcely take up a political cause without getting tangled in all sorts of inconsistencies. 

Albert
Albert

It's like the newspapers that refused to publish the Mohammed Cartoons for fear of inciting Muslims, and risking attack on US news providers , then rush to publish any photos taken by US Military that will incite Muslims to attack US Military.This is modern multiculturalism, but some would call it bigotry and cowardice, and sheer stupidity, among other things.

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

Albert,Exactly HOW is it like  "the newspapers that refused to publish the Mohammed Cartoons for fear of inciting Muslims, and risking attack on US news providers, then rush to publish any photos taken by US Military that will incite Muslims to attack US Military"?A lazy analogy is not an argument.

Albert
Albert

The there is no analogy, there are examples.

primi timpano
primi timpano

 God bless the danes and their freedom of speech.

Albert
Albert

You mean the ones killed by Muslims, or the ones currently in hiding from Muslims, or the ones tried in court for insulting Muslims?

Albert
Albert

On Mondays, I like to comment on stories about Jeffers and Christians and mock them. On Friday, I like to strongly defend Muslims.

Who am I?

primi timpano
primi timpano

 Why you are Albert, of course.

Albert
Albert

Albert the modern confused multicultutalist who respects only those who demand it at the point of a sword.

Mervis
Mervis

New craft beer name: Anthraper the Elder

Guest
Guest

You know, when people first got last names, a lot of them were based on the job that person did or some characteristic that person had.

So if you see a person whose last name is essentially Ant Raper, you can probably guess how that came to be.

Paul
Paul

 Well ... that is true in western Europe but not so in India.

Guess that you are just living up to your name today.

The enmity between Indians and Muslims makes the black/white racism thing in the USA look like a Sunday social picnic after church services on a lovely Norman Rockwell kind of day.

mantikos
mantikos

Firstly, you are wrong idiot...last names in India were based on job as was the caste system...please educate yourself before spewing BSLook up names like Trivedi and Acharya, heck even Daruwala if you want evidence of Indian last names being based on jobIndia has the 2nd biggest population of muslims on earth, there is no issue between Indians and Muslim, the issue is between India and Pakistanis because they are known state sponsorers of Islamic extremists aka terrorism

Guest
Guest

I hope I can be as completely humorless as you when I grow up.

Paul
Paul

 Please don't ...

RTGolden
RTGolden

Still waiting for Plain Ol' Dave's seven levels to the vagina rundown.

astoogebyanyothername
astoogebyanyothername

I think the "six degrees to Kevin Bacon's vagina" game is more fun. But i'm weird like that.

cp
cp

Arabs treat women like cattle--> fill-in-the-blank--> vaginas!

Porkistani_R_Terrorists
Porkistani_R_Terrorists

Thank god someone spoke up about how Arabs and Porkistanis treat women

brett
brett

yeah, because a white man has never mistreated a woman.

Porkistanis_suck
Porkistanis_suck

You should read the Quran...that book of used toilet paper has really interesting stuff about how women are 1/2 as good as men

Porkistanis_suck
Porkistanis_suck

Only difference is that ahem ahems still follow that book

primi timpano
primi timpano

 Don't forget Leviticus and Deuteronomy.  Death sentences for what is now common social behavior abound.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

6 degrees to vagina

Muslim supervisors -->  Perceived disrespect to women -->  Vaginas!

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

I have been involved in a case in which IHOP corporate mistreated a Muslim franchisee; so I'm not doubting these guys one bit, but it's important to note that it's a Texas franchisee who is being accused of wrongdoing.  Also, these guys got a right to sue letter from EEOC.  That means that EEOC determined that it didn't want the case.  The manner of portraying the EEOC's involvement here is very misleading.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

If they win do they get a lifetime supply of Ihop suasage links?

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Since wilonskys left, they DO has become a day late and dollar short on reporting stories like this?? This was in the DMN yesterday...

cp
cp

I miss the days when the DO scoops the DMN like a ripe litterbox.....

Mervis
Mervis

Can I just get my pancakes over here......

james
james

i believe that if you own your own company,place of business or whatever...that employees work at your pleasure and, barring other  contracts/agreements,  you may terminate anyone for any reason anytime. on the other hand, if the place of business is owned by the general public(city of fort worth) , managers would not enjoy this type of freedom. if smokers or muslims or damdirtyhippies or whoever it's popular to dislike this week  own part of your company, you can't very well use that for an excuse to fire them or refuse to hire them.

space2k
space2k

"Believe" all you want, ding-dong, discriminating against employees based on religion is illegal.

Da Truth
Da Truth

I believe because you are a tool, that you should not be allowed in public. Let's put it to a vote of the public on the message board. All in favor of banning James....

Albert
Albert

I'll vote for the American ideal of freedom of speech.

brett
brett

while we're at it james, why don't we put all of these people you speak of in their own special place, where they can work and live freely with members of their own kind....you know, kind of like a camp.

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

Better brush up on the law, James. You can't fire someone because of their religion, whether it pleasures you or not.  

Anon
Anon

to be more nuanced about this, you can (illegally) fire them for their religion you just better hope no one ever finds out.

CrackerDaddy
CrackerDaddy

EOT laws specifically state that you cannot do that.

MattL1
MattL1

There are exceptions to the presumption of at-will employment. Firing someone because of their religion is one of them.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

 "Larry Hawker", told about 20 other managers at a meeting in March 2010 that "Arab men treat women poorly and with disrespect[;] we're going to let these people go and have new faces coming in.

I think the Plaintiffs Attorney needs to put "Larry Hawker " on his Holiday Card list.

The only thing worse than making that kind of statement is being in the room when the statement was made .

I hate depositions .

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