Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Wal-Mart settles religious harassment suit for $75K

Wal-Mart has agreed to pay $75,000 to an employee at its Landover Hills location who alleged he was harassed by a manager for his national origin and religion.

Ebrima Jallow, who is Gambian and Muslim, was allegedly told by the store’s manager that he should “go back to Africa” and that “all Muslims do is blow up buildings and people,” according to a federal lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

A consent decree between the EEOC and Wal-Mart Stores East LP, the retailer’s eastern division, was signed Thursday by U.S. District Court Judge Theodore D. Chuang.

The consent decree, which last for 30 months, also requires Wal-Mart to provide training to employees at the Landover Hills store on federal laws and company polices that prohibit discrimination and harassment.

“Harassment based on national origin or religion simply has no business in the 21st century workplace,” said Debra M. Lawrence, the EEOC’s regional attorney, in a statement Friday. “The EEOC is pleased that this settlement will provide equitable relief and training to prevent unlawful harassment, discrimination or retaliation.”

Jallow was hired as an asset protection associate at the store in March 2008 and promoted to asset protection coordinator in February 2009, according to the complaint, filed in September 2013. The store manager, Emmanuel Gilliam, also mocked Jallow’s accent and suggested “those of Jallow’s national origin contributed to the enslavement of Africans in the United States,” according to the lawsuit.

Jallow eventually complained about the harassment and participated in an internal investigation, which prompted Gilliam to threaten to fire him, according to the complaint.

The case is EEOC v. Wal-Mart Stores East LP, 8:13-cv-02655.