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Woman Suing Merrifield Company for Alleged Religious Discrimination

A Muslim woman is suing a Merrifield-based company, claiming that she was denied employment because of her faith.

Shahin Indorewala said she applied for a job at Fast Trak Inc. (2735 Hartland Road, Suite) last fall. The interview process was going well, she said in announcing the federal suit this week, but things allegedly went south when discussing prayer breaks with the company’s CEO.

The lawsuit alleges that the company denied her request to shorten her 90-minute lunch break to take two short five-minute breaks for prayers as an observant Muslim. The lawsuit also alleges that the company’s CEO mocked her religious headscarf in front of the company’s staff and refused to hire her.

“I was shocked and there were other people around me. There were other employees, there were other interviewees there, and I just felt very humiliated,” Indorewala said yesterday.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed the discrimination lawsuit Tuesday (Sept. 24) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Indorewala and her attorneys are seeking a jury trial.

CAIR Attorney Gadeir Abbas told Tysons Reporter that Fast Trak will have about a month to respond to the lawsuit.

“It’s an extremely strong case,” Abbas said, adding that he has seen increasing levels of anti-Muslim sentiments in recent years. “The workplace reflects society.”

Fast Trak CEO Ramses Gavilondo told the Associated Press that he didn’t hire Indorewala because she “wanted to preach her religion” and that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated and found no wrongdoing. Fast Trak has so far not responded to Tysons Reporter’s requests for comment.

Photo via CAIR/Facebook

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