Wigdor LLP represents former Regional Marketing Director Wali Omarkheil in connection with claims of race, religion and ethnicity discrimination and retaliation in violation of Federal, New York State and New York City anti-discrimination laws against UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (“UnitedHealth”). UnitedHealth is the largest provider of health insurance in the United States.
On May 4, 2019, HuffPost published a feature story chronicling the alleged discrimination and retaliation Mr. Omarkheil faced while employed at UnitedHealth.
“I know you’re a Muslim and I will do my best to treat you right,” Wali Omarkheil’s manager allegedly told him during their first meeting. https://t.co/Dpm1udTIun
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) May 4, 2019
Mr. Omarkheil alleges that after 12 years of superb performance at UnitedHealth, Mr. Omarkheil was assigned a new direct supervisor in early 2018, who subjected him to a campaign of unlawful discrimination and harassment on the basis of his Muslim faith. For example, when Mr. Omarkheil met with Ms. Peluso for their first one-on-one meeting, she allegedly told him, “I am a Christian and I take my religion very seriously. I know you are a Muslim, and I will do my best to try to treat you right.”
As alleged, Ms. Peluso discriminated against and harassed Mr. Omarkheil by repeatedly calling him throughout the day, and particularly during times that she knew he was attending prayers. Ms. Peluso also allegedly refused to accommodate Mr. Omarkheil while he observed Ramadan. Mr. Omarkheil also alleges that Ms. Peluso would make inappropriate comments that showed a bias against Muslim individuals, including, but not limited to, telling Mr. Omarkheil that he was “hanging out with the Muslim-Arab Community way too much.”
Mr. Omarkheil alleges he reported the discrimination to UnitedHealth’s Human Resources department, but no action was taken to remedy the unlawful treatment. Instead, the Company and Ms. Peluso terminated Mr. Omarkheil just two months after he first went to HR, as alleged.