A chemistry professor at Kingsborough Community College was awarded $7,700 in back wages and $10,000 in damages after accusing the college of firing her because she is Muslim. Hanaa Khalil, and Egyptian immigrant, says the college hired her without seeing her 2009 after she posted her resume on the college's website. When she showed up for work, Khalil told the Daily News that the secretary "turned her face when she looked at me ... she turned her face like she saw something real bad. It was clear to me it was because they found out that I was a Muslim."
Court papers say Khalil was given a hard time for not having a Social Security card, even though she produced a passport, driver's license and green card. Department of Physical Sciences head reportedly asked, "Between you and me, do you really have a Social Security number?," and secretary Maureen Sharkey allegedly wouldn't let her use a laptop to make a Power Point presentation. When she complained to the human resources department, Mikalopas showed up with two security guards and told her she was fired.
Kingsborough spokeswoman Ruby Ryles says the college denies the allegations, but Sharkey reportedly doesn't work in the department anymore (even though she's still listed on the department's website). Kingsborough administrators have been ordered to take a workplace discrimination class. Khalil said, "I am hoping that I will be the last one to go through this at this school."