She Found Herself in a Racist and Hostile Workplace, so She Reported Her Co-worker to HR

A young Muslim woman recently took to Reddit to ask for opinions after a run-in with a co-worker resulted in a trip to HR. This is her full story.

She’s Lived in the State Since She Was a Teen

OP, a 26-year-old Muslim woman from Morocco who has lived in the United States since she was 14 years old. 

Since she is a Moroccan native and of Amazigh background, OP has light eyes and light skin. She does not wear hijab head coverings, and she has a western name.

Because of her physical appearance and name, OP is used to people not realizing she’s Muslim.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, OP began working remotely for a company. Over the summer, she attended several virtual meetings and struck up a friendship with one of her female co-workers.

They Had Lunch Together

Then, when OP started working at the company’s office in September 2020, she and her new friend sat down to lunch together on the first day back.

Her co-worker offered to share her chicken, but OP declined because her friend was not certain if the pan used to prepare it had also been used to cook pork at some point.

When OP told her friend the reason she didn’t want to eat the chicken, the friend assumed OP was Jewish and wanted to eat only Kosher meat.

But OP told her friend that Halal standards were guiding her, not Kosher. That’s when the co-worker’s attitude changed.

She Began Exhibiting Hostility Towards Her

OP had seen that flat, shocked look on other faces over the years, and she knew nothing good could come of it.

Almost immediately, OP’s new “friend” began exhibiting hostility towards her once she found out she was Muslim.

The co-worker started dropping derogatory comments and purposely excluding OP from social activities with other coworkers. The former friend even followed OP around the office, making her feel watched and monitored.

The co-worker even refused to go out for coffee with any group that included OP.

Tension Reached Its Peak

The tension reached its peak when it was OP’s turn to make a coffee run for her office mates. She decided to leave her large tote bag behind rather than lug it with her.

But OP’s co-worker wanted her to take the bag with her and said she was going to call security if she left it behind. The co-worker said she didn’t feel safe because OP’s “people” had a history of causing trouble.

That was the last straw for OP, who went to HR to complain about her co-worker’s continued abuse. A couple of other office mates reported the other woman to HR, too.

A few days later, HR called the co-worker in, and then OP received an email to let her know that the other woman had been transferred to another team.

Her Tormentor Was Gone

OP was very relieved to hear that her tormentor was gone, but not everyone felt that way.

When OP told her mother about the situation, mom was disappointed that OP had involved HR. She said OP is an adult and should have found a way to resolve the issue that didn’t impact the other woman’s livelihood.

Most Redditors fully support OP and say that she was totally right for reporting her co-worker.

Several point out that it was actually the co-worker who was affecting OP’s livelihood, and not the other way around.

They Should Have Fired Her Tormenter

Because she was always worried about what would happen next, OP likely wasn’t able to work to her full capacity.

Others think OP’s mother is not taking into account that hate speech can escalate.

Several Reddit commenters think the company didn’t go far enough and should have fired OP’s co-worker.

So, what do you think about this story? Was OP justified in going to HR to report her Islamophobic co-worker?

Or should she have found another way to deal with the situation, as her mother suggested?

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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

Source: Reddit