Better watch out if you live in Colorado (home of the infamous Civil Rights Commission in the cake baking Supreme Court case). Not only are there eager beaver lawyers and the aggrieved looking for cases, but as this building owner learned the hard way, they can record your phone calls in the state!
In the Cake Baking case, the baker won. Here the building owner coughed up the dough to presumably make the case go away.
The Bangladeshi born father and son will receive $675,000 and their American cheerleader Craig Caldwell helped make it happen.
Caldwell wanted to sublet the property to them as he wanted out of his restaurant business and needed permission from the building’s owner to sublet to the Khans.
Here is what happened…
Landlord settles discrimination case with Muslim father, son
DENVER (AP) — A Denver landlord who was recorded telling her tenant to find an “American person … good like you and me” to sublease her property instead of a Muslim father and son seeking to open their second restaurant must pay the men $675,000 under a settlement.
The three men sued last year, generating local news coverage and online pleas to boycott the woman’s business, which mirrored the response to racist comments captured on tape or video across the U.S. in recent months. Public attention soon faded, and attorneys said they were headed for trial until the night before jury selection was set to begin in Denver.
The parties finalized the settlement in April. Rashad Khan said it was a relief after more than a year of reliving his first experience of someone refusing to work with him and his father, Zuned, because of their faith and race.
The AP article has details and we pick up the story here….
….weeks went by without approval of the sublease agreement by the building’s owner, Katina Gatchis. Caldwell said he was shocked when the woman’s son blamed the Khans’ Islamic faith.
“I didn’t believe it, and I didn’t think anybody would believe me,” said Caldwell, who is 71 and white.
He decided to use a voice recording app on his cellphone during his next conversation with Gatchis. In Colorado, it is legal to secretly record a conversation if at least one participant consents.
“American person!” Gatchis said in the recording, provided to The Associated Press by Caldwell’s attorneys. “American person, I need. Good like you and me.”
Caldwell returned to see her a few days later. He hoped Gatchis would change her mind, but she remained insistent in a recording of that conversation.
“They bring all the Muslims from the Middle East, and then I have a problem around here, bam boom, bam boom,” she said.
Caldwell took the recordings of Gatchis to his business attorney. He referred Caldwell to Denver attorney Qusair Mohamedbhai, whose firm often handles discrimination claims and other civil rights cases.
Mohamedbhai said proving discrimination is often difficult and credited Caldwell for speaking up. [Did Caldwell get a cut of the settlement?—ed]
“Businesses in Colorado and across the country should know that these laws are on the books, they are highly enforceable, and that if they will discriminate, people will stand up against them and tell them it is wrong,” Mohamedbhai said.
I sure would hate to be a landlord these days!
I wonder if there are cases where Muslim landlords refused Christian or Jewish tenants? Does anyone know?