Metro Detroit woman files lawsuit against Walmart alleging discrimination

Posted at 8:02 PM, Oct 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-15 07:53:50-04

(WXYZ) — Thursday a metro Detroit woman filed a lawsuit against Walmart, alleging employment discrimination.

In a 13-page complaint filed in Wayne County's Third Judicial Circuit Court, Seenaa Najim alleges repeatedly being called derogatory names while working at the Walmart in Dearborn.

Najim says she was initially excited at the thought of working for Walmart. When it became reality, she says things went well at first. But after some time, a new manager took over.

Her attorney, Nabih Ayad, explains it became a hostile work environment.

"She immediately started badgering the plaintiff here. She started calling her horrific names. Calling her, 'you stupid, Arab, stupid camel jockey, you stupid, Muslim, go home, go to your home country, get out of here, you should learn how to speak English' and this just didn't happen once. It happened over and over and over again over months," said Ayad.

"For sure she insulted me a lot. Why would she do that?" said Najim.

Najim says she's been employed at the Dearborn Walmart for a year now. She says she's been singled out for her inability to speak English and for wearing a hijab.
And that complaints to upper management didn't solve the problem.

"It's so hurtful to think that this poor individual had to endure all of this, escaping ISIS and Iraq and leaving her children behind to make a better life for herself, and she has to endure this in the United States of America, in the heart of the city of Dearborn," said Ayad.

So Najim and the Arab American Civil Rights League filed a lawsuit against Walmart today, citing the state's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act seeking compensation, including lost wages and benefits.

"That's what we're here for. The ACRL will never, never, never cease to stop protecting these individuals, whether it be the filing of a lawsuit no matter what it takes," said Rula Aoun, director of the Arab American Civil Rights League.

"What we're asking is that they need to be discharged. The managers need to be discharged. In addition, they need to have sensitivity training, cultural training, religious training," said Ayab.

We reached out to Walmart media relations this morning for a comment on the lawsuit. We received an auto reply to allow for up to one business day for a response.