U.S. Sues Merrill Lynch Over Treatment of Iranian
York, New York - On June 26, 2007, the U.S.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued Merrill Lynch & Co. over
its treatment of an Iranian employee.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court
in Manhattan, the EEOC alleged that the investment bank discriminated against
Majid Borumand by failing to promote him and terminating him because of his
national origin (Iranian) and religion (Muslim).
The complaint alleges
that Borumand, while employed at Merrill Lynch, was subjected to a number of
remarks that reflected animosity toward his national origin and religion
including, but not limited to, being told that "the reason you aren't allowed on
the trading floor is because you are from a country which is a high risk factor
and a threat."
Borumand joined Merrill Lynch in 2002. He holds a master’s
degree in mathematical finance and a PhD in theoretical physics.
Herr, spokesman for Merrill Lynch, denies that the company discriminated against
Borumand. "We respectfully--but strongly--disagree with the EEOC and deny Mr.
The EEOC is an agency of the
federal government charged with the administration, interpretation, and
enforcement of civil rights laws pertaining to employment discrimination. Signed
into law by President John F. Kennedy with Executive order 10925, it can bring
suit on behalf of alleged victims of discrimination against private employers.
It also serves as an adjudicatory body for claims of discrimination brought
against federal agencies.
The EEOC has partnered with the Iranian American Know Your Rights Campaign to inform Iranian Americans about different types of
discrimination and available resources to prevent such inequities. “The EEOC,
while a government agency, is here to protect. Our biggest difficulty is that
immigrant communities either do not know about us or are too afraid to approach
a government agency for help,” says Ms. Joan Ehrlich, EEOC San Francisco
Spearheaded by the National Legal Sanctuary for
Community Advancement (NLSCA), the Know Your Rights Campaign comprises a
coalition of national organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU), Amnesty International USA, the Iranian American Bar Association (IABA),
and IAPAC. Through press briefings and town hall meetings, the coalition
partners strive to educate Iranian Americans about their civil rights and
liberties as well as to educate all Americans about the Iranian American
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... Payvand News - 7/4/07 ... --