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Lawyer Says Apple Fired Him for Being Muslim

SAN JOSE, Calif. (CN) - A former lawyer for Apple sued the tech giant in state court, claiming the company discriminated against him because he is a practicing Muslim.

Feras Mousilli, a former senior counsel for Apple, filed suit in Santa Clara County Superior Court on Feb. 29 seeking damages from the company, claiming he "was discriminated against, harassed and retaliated against during his employment" before being fired in January 2015.

Despite satisfactory job performances from the time of his hire on Aug. 16, 2014, Mousilli was fired because he was deemed a poor "cultural fit," according to the complaint.

Mousilli, who is Syrian, claims he was treated differently on the basis of his nationality.

Apple never formally introduced him to his department, denied his request to have Arabic printing on the back of his business cards and ultimately fired him "based on the false accusation that he breached confidentiality obligations set forth in the 'notice, consent and nondisclosure commitment related to participation in research study,'" Mousilli says in his complaint.

Mousilli also says Apple employees cracked inappropriate jokes about wars in the Middle East and Syria in Mousilli's presence and created a hostile work environment. Apple denied him privileges given to others not of Arabic origin, according to Mousilli's complaint.

Additionally, Mousilli says Apple would not accommodate his religious beliefs by allowing him to observe Friday afternoon prayer services, which conflicted with his weekly meetings with his supervisor. The unnamed superior refused to reschedule the meeting to accommodate the Mousilli's observance of Islam, according to the complaint.

Mousilli also believes Apple discriminated against him because of his disability - blindness in his right eye and colorblindness in the left, according to the complaint. Apple made no effort to accommodate the disability, which makes it difficult for him to read a computer screen, the complaint says.

He seeks lost wages and damages for race and national origin discrimination and harassment, religious discrimination, failure to accommodate religious beliefs, disability discrimination and failure to accommodate, retaliation, discharge in violation of public policy, intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation.

Mousilli is representing himself in the case, and declined to comment on the case.

Apple did not return a voice mail requesting comment on Wednesday.

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