Fired Al Jazeera America Employee Suing Network for 'anti-Semitic, anti-U.S.' Work Environment

According to lawsuit, worker was dismissed after complaining about supervisor's discriminatory behavior, including remarks such as 'whoever supports Israel should die a fiery death in hell.'

JTA
JTA
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
A man works at a desk in the Al Jazeera America broadcast center in New York, August 20, 2013.
A man works at a desk in the Al Jazeera America broadcast center in New York, August 20, 2013.Credit: Reuters
JTA
JTA

A fired Al Jazeera America employee is suing the network alleging a hostile work environment that included “discriminatory, anti-Semitic and anti-American remarks.”

According to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in New York State Supreme Court, Matthew Luke was fired in February 10 days after he complained about the behavior of his supervisor, Osman Mahmud, to human resources. Luke worked as Al Jazeera America’s supervisor of media and archive management beginning in May 2013, before the news channel had formally launched. It has been on the air for 20 months.

Luke’s attorneys are seeking $5 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages for the company’s alleged retaliation against Luke for complaining about Mahmud.

The lawsuit accuses Mahmud, who oversaw Broadcast Operations and Technology at the network, of making remarks deemed anti-Semitic such as “whoever supports Israel should die a fiery death in hell,” and expressing a desire to replace an Israeli cameraman with a Palestinian one, as well as excluding women from emails and meetings, the TVNewser website reported. Mahmud, the suit says, also replaced female employees with male ones and filled positions with men of Middle Eastern descent.

Mahmud, who began as a news editor at the network, rose to his supervisory position because he was well connected with Al Jazeera America’s backers, the suit claims.

Al Jazeera in response to the suit said it does not comment on pending litigation.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott