A woman filed a federal lawsuit against the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, claiming she was fired from her position as secretary at the Chicago consulate because she was not Pakistani.
Kimberly Maxwell was hired by the consulate at 333 N. Michigan Ave. in January 2014 to perform clerical tasks and general office work.
According to the suit, Maxwell’s employer knew she did not speak Urdu when she was hired.
On Feb. 13, 2015, Maxwell was informed that her employment at the consulate would be terminated because she was not Pakistani, the suit said. The suit, which states that Maxwell is black, claims the motivating reason for her termination was because “she was not of Pakistani descent.”
Maxwell, who resides in South Holland, filed a charge of discrimination against the defendants on April 28, 2015, with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Illinois Department of Human Rights. She was then given the right to sue about two weeks later, according to the lawsuit.
The suit claims the defendants have no immunity to the jurisdiction for the violations based on its commercial activity of hiring and employing American citizens to perform secretarial tasks and general office work. The Chicago consulate employs about 15 people.
The two-count suit seeks a jury trial and more than $2 million in damages. The lawsuit claims discrimination and lists the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Consulate General of Pakistan as defendants.
Calls made to the Chicago consulate were not answered Friday night.