The mayor of New Jersey’s largest city is calling for state officials to fire a Department of Labor employee accused of pulling a Muslim woman’s hijab off her head and throwing it on the ground. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said the unidentified Employment Services worker mocked a woman’s faith at the city’s One-Stop Career Center on December 5 before snatching her hijab.
Newark police arrested the employee and banned him from the business. They declined to identify the worker, but said he faces harassment charges.
Capt Derek Glenn said the worker is a 67-year-old Brooklyn man. His name wasn’t released due to retaliation concerns. He has been suspended without pay, said Amanda Pisano, a spokeswoman for the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
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The state agency is pursuing his termination in accordance with department policy. But that’s not enough, Baraka said.
The mayor believes prosecutors should’ve charged the man with a hate crime and has asked US Attorney Paul Fishman to investigate the incident.