Mohamed Kotbi, an Arab banquet waiter at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria, is suing the hotel for forcing him to wear different name tags to work, the New York Post reported Saturday.
The Moroccan-born Kotbi says that two days after the 9/11 attacks, he was given a name tag that read “John.” Kotbi, who had worked for the hotel since December 1984, filed complaints on the basis of religious and racial discrimination with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2005 and 2009. He accused hotel management of creating a “hostile work environment,” and said that management failed to act when co-workers called him names like “terrorist,” “al Qaeda boy,” among others.
This past November, Kotbi was given a name tag that said “Edgar.” A manager told him, “It’s better to be Edgar than Mohamed today.”
“It’s like I’m guilty, like I did the attacks on September 11,” the Kotbi told the Post. Kotbi’s lawyer, Jonathan Bell claims that management has not done anything to stop the taunts.
More recently, Kotbi has been allowed to use his last name, even though most employees go by their first name. It is unclear whether he still works for the hotel.