Woman Sues NYC Firm Over Hostile Work Environment

Claims Sexual Harassment, Anti-Muslim Discrimination By John Slattery for CBS

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A female employee of a Manhattan publishing company has filed suit, claiming a very hostile work enviornment. She said she was targeted because she’s a woman and a Muslim.

Nona Abdelrehim, 26, said the magazine firm she works for was like “Animal House,” a sort of jock fraternity culture that was hostile to women. “Comments made to me directly by co-workers about my body, and it’s incredibly uncomfortable.”

Abdelrahim works as a manager at GDS International, based in the U.K. with it’s New York office on Wall Street, an office she said that places a premium on hard-drinking and sex talk.

“It’s all based around drinking, having a good time, inappropriate gestures that are being made,” she said.

She said not only was there sexual harassment, but there was anti-Muslim discrimination with images on computers. “There was one sales update saying so-and-so dropped a $50,000 bomb on whatever project and then they had a picture depicted of a Muslim man in garb indicating a terrorist. People were commenting, people were laughing.”

After not getting satisfaction from complaints to her company, she got a lawyer to file suit. “They have discriminated against Nona by creating an environment that’s degrading to her in particular but certainly to all woman who work at GDS,” said attorney Jack Tuckner.

The company issued this statement: “She is still a valued employee and we support our employees as best we can. Therefore, commenting on this matter would not be fair or supportive.”

For now, the young woman is still employed by the publishing company, but she wonders how long it can last.

The suit seeks compensation for damages but the amount is not specified.