Female Muslim lawyer in UK wins 75,000 pounds over Mother Teresa jibes

December 4th, 2008 - 6:43 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 4 (ANI): A Muslim barrister in Britain has won a 75,000 dollar payout from her former legal firm after a senior partner and deputy district judge referred to her as Mother Teresa and tent head.

Saleca Faisal-Parkar, 31, was harassed, overlooked for jobs and training and was even branded lazy after she became seriously ill while pregnant, The Telegraph reported.

Stephen Jones led the abuse, who then headed litigation at the leading law firm Shakespeares, also referred to her as a flipping nun.

He was also a deputy district judge and a member of the Solicitors Disciplinary Panel, but has resigned both positions in the light of the scandal.

Faisal-Parkar, who has a young daughter, joined Shakespeares in 2002 as a legal assistant.

Not long after she started, she found out from a fellow worker that she had been nicknamed Mother Teresa because she wore a hijab, which covers her head.

Over the course of the following months, she said Jones - who made the derogatory comments in emails - harassed her, refused her training requests and potentially reduced her annual salary increase by the type of work he gave her, The Telegraph reported.

In one email he says to a colleague: From where I sit tent head looks like a flipping nun today unless there are auditions for the Sound of Music on somewhere?

In August 2006, after her father died, she said she took a week of work but received a call from the office saying Jones was beginning to lose patience.

The following January, when she was pregnant, she suffered heavy bleeding after climbing up and down on stools searching for files. Doctors feared she would miscarriage and said she should not climb ladders or on stools.

When she asked Jones for assistance on the matter, he called her lazy.

In March 2007, when she returned to work after a period of sick leave, at the time Shakespeares was merging to become Shakespeare Putsman, she found her possessions in boxes and given a job she had no experience of. She left later that year.

A spokesman for Shakespeare Putsman, one of the Midlands largest law firms, said: Shakespeare Putsman would like to apologise for the actions and behaviours towards Saleca Parkar that have caused her unnecessary distress. (ANI)

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