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$2,000,000 for abusing my rights
What was done to me was wrong

November 29, 2001
The Iranian

I have listed briefly below my concerns and would like some support from the Iranian community against bigotry and discrimination in this country. I moved from a society with beliefs such as these and felt coming to the US would change this. It hasn't. But unlike Iran we have certain rights here and being a naturalized citizen I would like to exercise these rights. I feel a large corporation such as Safeway food stores should have such a policy in place. Evidently it doesn't exist or needs to be reinforced. Either way what was done to me was immoral, humiliating and wrong.

Thank you,

(Name withheld)

To Whom It May Concern:

I have been terminated from my position as accountant at Safeway food stores. The termination was biased and due to prejudice and discrimination by the manager and his employees.

Briefly I will explain the incidents leading up to my wrongful termination.

It had started a few days before Christmas. When I had first tried to apply for a position at my local Safeway in San Jose. I had filled out an application and was informed to return the following day to speak with the acting manager that was Robert at the time. The clerk had informed me that they needed help and he would probably hire me on the spot because of my personality.

I felt confident and had returned the next morning to speak with him. My husband had completed his shopping at that time and had joined me while I was awaiting the manager to arrive.

After waiting 10 minutes, Robert had approached me and introduced himself. He asked how he could help. I informed him that I had filled out an application and was applying for a position in the bakery, checker, or bookkeeping dept. And had told him that I was led to believe that were positions in these departments that needed to be filled immediately, and that I was available.

He asked me if I spoke Spanish and I told him no I speak Persian. He said WHAT????!!!! What is Persian? I told him I was from Iran. The next thing out of his mouth was that we need bilingual people but Spanish would help. He also said, "I'm worried about your accent and being in a customer service based industry we need for people to understand you." I told him I work as an office manager now for a carpet company and I make dozens of phone calls and answer dozens of calls from customers every day without any complaints.

As I spoke to him of my past experiences his eyes wandered throughout the store making it hard for me to make eye contact. He seemed uninterested because I couldn't speak Spanish. I told him that I had worked for CopyLand for 5 years depositing money, doing their figures, and speaking to hundreds of customers a week without any complaints.

He just reiterated that he felt my accent would be a hindrance to the customer. Than without a pause he asked again if I knew how to speak Spanish. Again I told him no and tried to complete my sentence but he told me that he would be in touch.

A week had lapsed and I had not heard a response from him. As I was rifling through the Sunday newspaper I came across an ad for Safeway that said they were hiring and it listed a number to call. I called this number and it asked me a handful of questions that pertained to the jobs they had posted.

They returned my call the following day and had informed that I matched their qualifications for the openings they had posted. We had set a time for me to interview with personnel at Safeway. I was asked to attend a training class that lasted for 3-4 days. They had set the date and I made it to the training classes.

When I was asked what store would be the most convenient for me? I listed my local Safeway as the first choice and several other nearby stores as secondary had this store not had any immediate openings available. They had informed that this store indeed had openings and they were going to contact the manger and pass along the necessary information before I had arrived for my first day.

I had gone back to the store to introduce myself to Robert and to request the necessary paperwork and schedule for the next week. Robert made a remark they didn't hit me at first but now I know why. He said so you went over my head and got the job hear anyway. At first I thought it was a compliment that he observed that I had persevered and achieved what I had started out to do. Though as time wore on Robert being incongruent, and the crews actions started to unfold I realized their was more here than met the eye.

Not being properly trained and after three days being left alone with all the money by myself now has led me to believe that this is the way they get rid of people who don't speak Spanish and they don't like. My personal opinion is that that Roberts Macho pride was damaged when I followed through on my behalf to strive and obtain my goal, which was to get hired at Safeway.

The comment he made about me going over his head now sticks out like a sore thumb. Money being left out on top of the registers and too many employees having access to the cash at anytime without proper procedure was all to nice and neat for them to accuse me of steeling when they were short in the till.

When I had arrived for work that day there was a girl at the register and I asked if she was new and in training? She told me she was new but she was replacing me. Now how did this girl know what was going on and who told her and the other employees.

First of all it is not company policy to inform all the employees of why a person is being dismissed. Second of all, it was the way they dismissed me that was uncalled for. I realized when they had relieved me of my duties they had in my place a Mexican girl who spoke Spanish. If this isn't discrimination and wrongful termination I don't know what is.

I have an unblemished record from the past several years that I have handled money for other companies. I was willing to take a polygraph to prove my innocence but I was just told to leave. The way they had me leave was to embarrass me, humiliate me, and falsely accuse me of doing something I didn't do.

I have not listed everything here that had happened though I keep a log and have documented cases of daily occurrences of things that were so out of the ordinary that money is probably missed there everyday.

I am asking to file a $2,000,000 (two million dollar) lawsuit against Safeway...

Thank you

(Name withheld)

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