Setting the Record Straight -- American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) Has Zero Tolerance For Harassment In the Workplace

Oct 03, 2013, 17:00 ET from American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

DETROIT, Oct. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) sets the record straight, clarifying key issues related to an independent review that determined inconclusive evidence that staff member, Imad Hamad, committed sexual harassment.

Key and important facts:

  • Immediately upon receiving a letter from Michigan State Representative Rashida Tlaib's (D-Detroit) in May 2013, the ADC National Board of Directors immediately launched an independent investigation of her claims.  ADC assigned the task to a widely respected specialist in sexual harassment law and issues, and the third-party investigator had complete freedom to interview all claimants against Mr. Hamad and report as they saw fit.  Mr. Hamad, who was voluntarily placed on an administrative leave, fully cooperated in that review. As a result of the review, it was determined by the board there was inconclusive evidence of sexual harassment.
  • ADC's obligation and policy are to protect the privacy of all individuals involved and respect the sensitive nature of their complaints. Publicly disclosing the substance of their private conversations would also violate attorney-client privileges.
  • It is crucial to emphasize that all the parties interviewed, including Mr. Hamad, agreed to abide by the process and the subsequent findings and determination.  Now that the investigation is complete, several are not honoring that agreement, as the findings are not to their liking.
  • ADC abides by due process, and this is the same principle it applies daily as a leading civil rights organization.  In this society, people are innocent until proven guilty.  Unfortunately, ADC questions the motives and agendas of those who seek to discredit the process ADC followed, reported by a highly credible and impartial attorney.
  • ADC also addressed concerns raised in 2007, to which Representative Tlaib referred to in her May 2013 letter. At that time, ADC's third female President, former Honorable Congresswoman Mary Rose Okar—who helped write laws on sexual harassment—conducted a thorough internal investigation of ADC's Michigan office and its environment.  This responsible effort resulted in ADC adopting a formal sexual harassment policy, as well as taking appropriate personnel actions with regard to Mr. Hamad.  No new issues were brought to ADC's attention prior to Representative Tlaib's May 2013 letter.
  • An internal investigation of ADC's policies and procedures with respect to sexual harassment and the way ADC handles claims of misconduct is ongoing.  ADC is working to make certain its policies and procedures are sound and continue to reflect zero tolerance of workplace discrimination or harassment.
  • ADC does not, and will not, tolerate any form of discrimination within its organization or society, including in employment practices and the workplace. This rule applies to all dedicated employees serving the mission of ADC, including Mr. Hamad.
  • It is not ADC's role or intent to engage in personal disputes or politically-driven agendas.  ADC mission is to represent and serve the entire Arab-American community and society as a whole.  To that end, it does not condone the actions of  individuals who may use positions of authority or office to engage in such personal disputes or self-promoting agendas.    
  • ADC continues to receive outstanding community support and remains fully committed to fulfilling its mission through the united effort of the leadership team, board, volunteers and members.

Founded in 1980, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is the largest Arab American grassroots organization committed to protecting civil rights, promoting mutual understanding, and preserving the Arab American cultural heritage.  Each year, ADC represents thousands of individuals against threats to their rights and dignity, while working to improve trust and cooperation among cultures in our society.

SOURCE American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee