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Saturday, July 20, 2024  
13 Muharram 1446  

Muslim lawyer sues firm for alleged discrimination over her identity, pro-Palestine views

Claims she was fired the day before she was set to start a job
Lebanese-American lawyer Jinan Chehade has filed a lawsuit accusing a national law firm of discrimination. Photo via Chicago Tribune
Lebanese-American lawyer Jinan Chehade has filed a lawsuit accusing a national law firm of discrimination. Photo via Chicago Tribune

Lebanese-American lawyer Jinan Chehade has filed a lawsuit, accusing a national law firm of discrimination as she was fired the day before she was set to start a job.

Chehade said that the firm Foley & Lardner discriminated against her because of her Arab Muslim background and her public statements made on social media and at meetings regarding Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.

Chehade claimed that she was fired the day before she was set to start a job at the firm’s Chicago office in late October due to her identity and political views.

According to the complaint, Chehade was offered a full-time position to begin in fall 2023.

“As soon as we all sat down, they pulled out a packet of about 15 to 20 pages with screenshots of my social media posts, about speeches that I’ve made, about my background, my identity,” Chehade said.

“When I really started to feel the anxiety and panic was when they asked me about my dad, and where he worked – and obviously as a child of immigrants, a big law firm asking you about your father… alarm bells just started going off in my head,” Chehade said in an interview with Chicago Tribune.

She said that her father works at the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview.

The firm questioned her associations with the student organisation, Students for Justice in Palestine, as well as her public comments regarding a proposed ceasefire resolution at a Chicago City Council meeting, she added.

Chehade claimed that such inquiries into her political affiliations and views were part of the firm’s discriminatory actions against her.

“It was devastating when they turned against me and vilified me in this way when I really respected their supposed commitment to diversity,” Chehade said.

“We stand behind our decision to rescind Ms. Chehade’s employment offer as a result of the statements she made surrounding the horrendous attacks by Hamas on October 7,” a firm representative said.

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