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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Consdering they can file such charges with either a state or federal agency for free in addition to hiring a private lawyer on contingency, why would the ACLU take a case like this?

Iranian couple files lawsuit against NIOSH

ACLU alleges discrimination
BY ERIC BOWEN

The Dominion Post

A Morgantown couple fired from their jobs at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in May filed a lawsuit against the agency last week, saying they were discriminated against because of their Iranian background and Islamic faith.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of Aliakbar and Shahla Afshari, released information about the lawsuit Monday.

According to co-counsel Robert Bastress, a WVU law professor and cooperating attorney with the ACLU, the Afsharis went to work May 5 and were told they had failed a background check. The couple was then escorted from the laboratories. Seven months later, they still do not know why they were fired.

"The Afsharis were fired without any notice, without any procedures, and without any reason," Bastress said Monday. "The Afsharis allege that they have been discriminated against because of their Iranian heritage and their Muslim faith and because of the association they've had within the Muslim community."

According to the Afsharis' complaint filed against officials of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the parent agency of NIOSH, the Afsharis are seeking back pay and Aliakbar's reinstatement to his job as a senior fellow. The lawsuit, supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, also seeks a hearing to clear the Afsharis' names.

The suit also names the CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Bastress said the Afsharis came to Morgantown in 1987, when Aliakbar Afshari entered the industrial engineering doctorate program at WVU. He began working for NIOSH in 1996 as a contract worker, and his wife started a year later. The two were hired as full-time employees in 2000.

At the time they were hired, the Afsharis passed background checks as part of their employment application, Bastress said. They were fired because they failed to pass a secret background investigation that was conducted on employees from countries considered a threat to the United States, including Iran, according to a news release from the ACLU in West Virginia.

Aliakbar Afshari built equipment to study the health effects of welding and asphalt fumes, and hand and arm vibrations. Shahla Afshari, who has a master's degree in occupational health and safety engineering, worked in a laboratory that researched sensitivity to chemicals in the work place, such as allergic reactions to latex gloves.

Neither had access to classified documents or worked with banned biological or chemical toxins. Their jobs did not require a security clearance. Both are legal residents of the United States and were within a few years of attaining citizenship.

"More than anything, they want to clear their name so they can find future employment," Bastress said. "At the moment, it's extremely difficult for someone like Dr. Afshari to get employment when he has to present that he is an Iranian who has been fired by the government because he presented a security risk. They just want their life back."

CDC spokeswoman Kathy Harben said Monday that she could not comment on the lawsuit. She confirmed only that the Afsharis were no longer employed by the CDC.

When reached at his home, Aliakbar Afshari declined to comment, referring The Dominion Post to the family's attorney, Allan Karlin, who also is a cooperating attorney with the ACLU.

Karlin said the loss of their jobs has been a hardship for the Afshari family. Until they were fired, the Afsharis were considered valued employees at NIOSH in Morgantown. About 30 of the Afsharis' coworkers have written letters on their behalf.

This fall, Shahla Afshari entered WVU dental school with her daughter, Azadeh, the first time a mother-daughter team has entered the school in the same year. Aliakbar continues to look for work in his field.

Karlin said that the Afsharis' firing was unfair and violated their civil rights. He said that what happened to the Afsharis should not have a place in a country founded on freedom of expression.

"The United States holds itself out as a place where individuals are treated fairly with due process of law regardless of their religion or ethnicity," he said. "The treatment of the Afsharis is inconsistent with those ideals and contrary to the image of America that we portray to the world."
 

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Ditto Cephus, this one's in our back yard. I know a couple of folks that work at the NIOSH in question. They have strict rules for employment and are checked every so often. All employees are tested by the same standard as NIOSH is a government agency. If you don't pass, you don't have a job. Period.
 

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The ACLU is one of the most dangerous organizations in the United States. IMO, they do not have the best interests of this country at heart, and would like to see us become a secular, socialist society complete with mind police and book burners. Now where's my gawd damn tin foil, dammit. Bunnie, where the hell you at boy? Ah needs ma foil dad gummit!

p.s. you can see from the paleness of my forehead that I hardly ever go outside anymore without it.
 

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Preacher said:
Ditto Cephus, this one's in our back yard. I know a couple of folks that work at the NIOSH in question. They have strict rules for employment and are checked every so often. All employees are tested by the same standard as NIOSH is a government agency. If you don't pass, you don't have a job. Period.
Right on preacher. I worked for a gov't contractor for the Air Force for a couple of years. Believe it or not, part of their employment requirements were to obtain a government security clearance. Did we work around "Top Secret" information? No! We did, however, work for a government contractor that "required" a low level government security clearance. This entailed applying for the paperwork, extensive questioning, fingerprinting, etc. If we failed to receive our security clearance, the contractor had the right to terminate our employment. In fact, this was a stipulation for the job. If you failed to get the clearance, you no longer had a job! This sounds like a simliar situation.

This kind of shit really chaps my hide. I go to school with a lot of people from the middle east. They are of the same ethnic background as the guy mentioned. These peices of crap should be just be lucky we allow them to come over and take over our schools and get such a great education..most of the time for free! Not to mention, the fact that many of them get to stay and take many of the best technical jobs that we need so desperately. I have no sympathy for these people whatsoever. They've overstayed in my book if I had anything to say about it.

A few months back, I was sitting at a table studying for an exam. There was myself, a few friends, and a guy from this same geographic region. We got to talking about school and finances. We asked him how in the world he was paying for his schooling, since he was from overseas. He mentioned that the US government gives him really nice loans, interest free, while he's here. To date he had accumulated over $30,000 worth of loans..I then asked him how long he was allowed to stay, and he said that he would stay until he finishes his degree. At that point, they would reevaluate his visa and would decide if he would be able to stay or not. So then I said, what if they send you back? A smile came over his face and he said, " I'll go back home and never think twice about these loans ever again! They will never come after me over there!" Why the hell do we allow these people to come over in the first place? Much less, why so damn many of them!
 

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yosuthnmasa said:
I go to school with a lot of people from the middle east. They are of the same ethnic background as the guy mentioned. These peices of crap should be just be lucky we allow them to come over and take over our schools and get such a great education..most of the time for free! Not to mention, the fact that many of them get to stay and take many of the best technical jobs that we need so desperately. I have no sympathy for these people whatsoever. They've overstayed in my book if I had anything to say about it.
I know exactly what you're talking about. My wife went to college with a girl from Greece. She got her education and never paid a penny. Meanwhile, 5 years later, me and the wife are still paying on ours. I have no problem with immigration, but I would like to see them held to the same standard as the rest of us.
 

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Unfortunately the rest of the world knows we are suckers, and they take full advantage of it. Its attitudes like the guy you mentioned that makes me think we should stop letting middle easterners into this country for education. Let them stay in their third world crapholes and get educated.

And I'll cry a river for the Iranian who got fired too...If they are unhappy with things they can go back to Iran!

Oh, and Yosuthnmasa....I love your icon....I find myself mesmerized and just staring at it a lot....very soothing!
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Boy Scouts raise funds
outside ACLU
Troop takes annual popcorn sale to Virginia headquarters

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted: December 15, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern



? 2004 WorldNetDaily.com

A Boy Scout troop that routinely sells popcorn prior to the holidays is taking its fund-raiser to the enemy this year as it hawks the treat today in front of the Virginia headquarters of the American Civil Liberties Union.

According to Tom McKenna, chairman of Troop 828's executive committee, the boys will stake out a spot outside the ACLU office in downtown Richmond, Va., from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern time. The troop is chartered by St. Joseph's parish in Richmond.


"This is just our little (five boys) troop's way to make our opposition known," McKenna told WND.

As WorldNetDaily reported, the most recent success by the ACLU against the Boy Scouts occurred when the Pentagon agreed to warn its bases not to sponsor Boy Scout troops as part of the settlement of a 5-year-old lawsuit brought by the legal group. The ACLU charged the government with improperly supporting a group requiring members to believe in God, complaining that Boy Scouts of America "requires troop and pack leaders, in this case government employees, to compel youth to swear an oath of duty to God."

The Boy Scouts aren't the only ones to gather at an ACLU office in protest. As WND reported, last week a group of demonstrators with Public Advocate of the United States sang Christmas carols in front of the Washington, D.C., office of ACLU to protest the organization's attempts to take religious references, including Christmas references, out of the public square.

Public Advocate President Eugene Delgaudio mentioned the Boy Scouts at the group's protest.

"It is exciting to see all these people singing Christmas carols, including the ACLU staff members that have joined us today," he said. "Regardless of our differences, we are all proud to be Americans this Christmas, and may God bless those that are currently in harms way to bravely protect our freedoms. We must remember that the Boy Scout troops in danger of being kicked-off these military bases are made up of the sons of those brave soldiers, sailors and marines."
 

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What the ACLU really needs:

BOOM............BAM........WHAM.....
 

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"Consdering they can file such charges with either a state or federal agency for free in addition to hiring a private lawyer on contingency, why would the ACLU take a case like this?"

Straight answer, Custer: This is a First Amendment case, and the ACLU has a long history of vigorously defending the First Amendment (too bad they ignore the Second), when you get something for free you generally get what you pay for, and the ACLU has more resources to bring to bear than any single attorney on contingency would.

All of which I think you already knew. I think your question is a bit disingenuous: Would you have had a problem with the ACLU taking on this case had the firing been for having been a Christian?
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The plethora of anti discrimination laws apply here, including ethnic, national origin and religious discrimination. You don't think Federal EEOC or the state agencies have the resources to take this on? You don't think private lawyers who specialize in employment discrimination can't handle this?

Most of the time the ACLU guys do that for a living. They help the ACLU on a pro bono basis.

I don't respect the ACLU. They are fakes.

This is a plain vanilla relgious case just like a zillion other ones. Maybe they are hyped up with the Muslim agenda at the moment. Maybe the don't like the idea of national security or security clearances. There is something else behind this one and I am not sure what it is.
 

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Don't forget that the ACLU is paid federal tax money for any civil rights case they bring up.

In other words all civil rights cases are a cash cow for them of free money. They get to sue the government for rights violations and the government pays them to do it.
 

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SangRun Hunter said:
Don't forget that the ACLU is paid federal tax money for any civil rights case they bring up.

In other words all civil rights cases are a cash cow for them of free money. They get to sue the government for rights violations and the government pays them to do it.
You sure about that, SangRun? Can you elaborate, explain, back that up, whatever? I don't think you're right. For example, the NAACP largely funded the legal expenses of Brown v. Board of Education, the case that resulted in "separate but equal" schools for Blacks being ruled unconstitutional, but I don't think the NAACP got a nickel out of that case. Every case the ACLU takes on is, by definition, a civil rights case - but seems that it is vanishingly unusual for their winning a case to be accompanied by compensation for legal costs.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Certain Federal laws passed in the last 20 years award attorney's fees if you win.

They did not exist in in 1954 for Brown.

Anyone can get these fees if they bring the action, not just the ACLU.



The Civil Rights Attorney's Fees Awards Act of 1976, 42 U.S.C. 1988, provides that "n any action or proceeding to enforce" certain enumerated civil rights laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the court may award attorney's fees to the prevailing party, other than the United States.
 

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Interesting. Thanks, Custer.

Curious: I'm under the impression that you're an attorney. Has this turned into the gravy train that SangRun contends it has become?
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think there are a number of laws that award fees and it can be quite lucrative. It is not just the ACLU feeding at the public trough.

A lot of class action works that way, too. Good fees and the poor affected class gets a 25% off coupon.
 

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Dzerzhinsky said:
Interesting. Thanks, Custer.

Curious: I'm under the impression that you're an attorney. Has this turned into the gravy train that SangRun contends it has become?
Just last week there was a news story that broke on this. The gist of the article said it wasn't just for winning a suit, but if an attorney does win a suit the expense are paid by the Fed. It's an interesting concept in that it makes it fair for the poor (probably minority) at the time when it was put in place to have teh ability to sue the Government.

I'll have to see if I can find the link.
 

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Dzerzhinsky said:
Would you have had a problem with the ACLU taking on this case had the firing been for having been a Christian?
I seriuosly doubt that the ACLU would defend Christian rights for any reason. If so, they would not be coming down so hard on the Boy Scouts. Most Christians would be doing themselves proud if they upheld the standards of the BSA.
 
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