FDNY Settles Harassment Suit With Muslim Firefighter for $225K

A Muslim FDNY firefighter who claims he suffered years of harassment because of his race and religion, has settled his federal court lawsuit with the city and a lieutenant.

Raheem Hassan, 31, filed suit earlier this year alleging race discrimination, religious discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, discrimination under state law, discrimination under city law, and violations of his First, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment Rights.

Among the more outrageous of the many allegations were that colleagues purposefully fed Hassan meals prepared using pork and bacon so he would violate his religious beliefs; took photos of their genitals next to his face while he was sleeping; and had him arrested after he called his company officer to complain about the abuse saying “I’m going to kill the guys in the firehouse.”

The $225,000 settlement calls for the city to pay $224,000 and Lieutenant David Hughes to pay $1,000. Under the terms of the settlement, neither the city nor Lt. Hughes admitted to any wrongdoing.

The New York Post quoted Hassan’s lawyer, Aymen Aboushi, as saying the settlement “is an acknowledgment that Hassan was subject to an inappropriate work environment. … The fact that Hughes had to pay proves Raheem did not do what he was accused of.”

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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