French student sues employer who refused to let him use Muslim name

A 19-year-old secondary school student is suing his former employer for racism, claiming that he was fired for refusing to tell clients his name was Alexander, not Mohamed, France Info radio reported Wednesday.

Mohamed was to carry out a one-month training period as a marketing agent at a food delivery company in the northern city of Tournes when he was let go because he refused to lie about his name.

His job was to have been to phone clients and propose special offers. Apparently, his employer felt that the name Mohamed would alienate potential customers.

According to a 2009 ruling by the French Court of Cassation, the country’s top court, forcing employees to change their name because of their origin constitutes discrimination.

DPA, 6 October 2010