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Case 1:16-cv-23924-KMW Document 12 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/26/2016 Page 1 of 15

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
MIAMI DIVISION
AMEER SIDDIQUI,
Plaintiff,

Case No.: 1:16-cv-23924

v.
NETJETS AVIATION, INC.,
Defendant.
___________________________
PLAINTIFFS FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
Preliminary Statement
1. Plaintiff Ameer Siddiqui (Siddiqui or Plaintiff) is a Muslim of Pakistani descent. He
began work with NetJets Aviation, Inc. (NetJets or Defendant) in 2006. Plaintiff was
subjected to religious, racial, ethnic and age harassment and discrimination, and retaliation.
2. Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. 1981, Title
VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et. seq. (Title VII), and the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. 621 et. seq. (the ADEA) for
discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, age, and retaliation.
JURISDICTION
3. Jurisdiction of this matter is conferred by 28 U.S.C. 1331 and 1343(3) and 42 U.S.C.
2000e-5(f). Venue in this Court is proper under 42 U.S.C. 2000e-5(f)(3) (2000) because
Plaintiff was employed by NetJets through their location in Miami, Florida, and a
significant amount of the alleged acts herein occurred in Miami, Florida.

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PARTIES
4. Plaintiff is a resident of Miami, Florida. He was employed by NetJets, and reported through
NetJetss West Palm Beach office from 2006. In 2007, Plaintiff began flying with NetJets
from Miami International Airport, until he was suspended on September 9, 2013.
Throughout all relevant times Plaintiff was and is an adherent of the Muslim faith.
5. NetJets is a private employer with its principal place of business in Columbus, Ohio.
NetJets has offices in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Plaintiff and NetJets conducted
business regularly from that West Palm Beach office as well as subsequently from Miami
International Airport and other air fields in Miami-Dade County. NetJets is a private
employer within the meaning of Title VII and the ADEA, as NetJets has continuously
employed at least 20 employees during the current or preceding calendar year.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
6. Plaintiff began working as a pilot for NetJets in 2006, flying private planes for individuals
through the NetJets West Palm Beach Airport.
7. Prior to September 7, 2013, Mr. Siddiqui was never disciplined during his employment
with NetJets. However, on that date, he was called to NetJetss Ohio office to discuss
security concerns.
8. On September 8, 2013, Mr. Siddiqui discovered that his identification badge had been
deactivated without cause, and he was told he was not allowed on NetJetss property. The
experience humiliated and embarrassed Mr. Siddiqui, who was not given any reason why
he would be abruptly barred from NetJets property without explanation.

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9. Mr. Siddiqui called Chief Pilot David Hymen to inquire as to why he was locked out. Mr.
Hymen told him only that there were allegations of political comments made by Mr.
Siddiqui, and that beyond that it was above Mr. Hymens level.
10. After receiving only minimal information from Mr. Hymen, Mr. Siddiqui contacted his
union representative, Paul Kenrath, who stated he had been informed only that NetJets had
security concerns about Mr. Siddiqui.
11. On September 9, 2013, NetJets placed Mr. Siddiqui on indefinite administrative leave, with
no explanation as to what kind of security concerns warranted this action. NetJets also
took Mr. Siddiquis ID badge and aircraft key, and demanded that he return his Blackberry
by FedEx, without deleting or changing any information, even personal contacts.
12. By placing Mr. Siddiqui on leave without providing meaningful information as to why he
was placed on leave, NetJets violated its own internal policies and its Collective Bargaining
Agreement with the union to which Mr. Siddiqui belonged, and which governed his
employment with NetJets.
13. After NetJets grounded Mr. Siddiqui, NetJets initiated contact with the FBI to report Mr.
Siddiqui. Mr. Siddiqui only learned later, through the FBI agent with whom he met, that
NetJets had made the report which prompted the FBI to meet with him.
14. On December 5, 2013, Mr. Siddiqui was contacted by FBI Agent Tom Mead, who
informed him that NetJets had contacted the FBI regarding Mr. Siddiqui because of a
security concern.
15. Agent Mead also stated that the inquiry was transferred to the FBIs Miami office, and that
their inquiry would take place in Miami.

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16. Agent Mead asked Mr. Siddiqui to meet with him and his partner, Agent Lily Gonzales, to
answer a series of questions.
17. Mr. Siddiqui cooperated with the FBI, and answered all questions truthfully and honestly.
18. The FBI concluded that Mr. Siddiqui was not a concern for investigation, and that the
inquiry prompted by his employers call would be closed. At this time, Mr. Siddiqui
learned that Joseph Dalton, head of security for NetJets, had contacted the FBI about him.
19. On December 6, 2013, the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots Union
(NJASAP) filed a grievance, which included Mr. Siddiqui and his claims, in connection
with violations of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
20. On February 24, 2014, Mr. Siddiqui received a letter from the FBI, stating that there was
no record of any relevant investigation into Mr. Siddiqui.
21. Even after the FBI closed its inquiry, NetJets did not take Mr. Siddiqui off administrative
leave or provide him an opportunity to address any specific allegations made against him.
22. Mr. Siddiqui waited for NetJets to take him off administrative leave, but received no
response for another year.
23. On February 16, 2015, Mr. Siddiqui, through his legal counsel, raised his concerns to the
General Counsel of NetJets.
24. NetJets did not respond to any of Mr. Siddiquis complaints until March 29, 2015; he was
then asked to travel again to Ohio on April 1, 2015 to finally meet regarding his suspension.
25. On April 1, 2015, Mr. Siddiqui met with Mark Okey, VP of Contract Compliance, Erica
Leighton, Labor and Employee Relations Manager, Dan Driscoll, Paralegal, Trent
Edwards, Assistant Chief Pilot, Mike Monkevicz, Union Steward, and Sonya Cook,

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attorney and Union Representative for Mr. Siddiqui, to discuss Mr. Siddiquis placement
on administrative leave.
26. During this interview, Mr. Siddiqui was asked generally, for the first time, about
unspecified comments allegedly made about Jewish individuals, September 11, 2001, the
U.S. military, and other political ideologies related to Mr. Siddiquis background.
27. During his interview, Mr. Siddiqui voiced his confusion as to why he was being questioned
relating to Jewish and Palestinian individuals. Mr. Siddiqui believed that these questions
were asked because of his race, religion, and national origin.
28. After going through a set of questioning, Labor and Employee Relations Manager Dan
Driscoll began repeating each question again; Mr. Siddiqui gave the same or similar
answers to each question asked until his representative ended the repetitious questioning.
29. At no point in this line of questioning did any national security concerns arise, and at no
point did NetJets convey to Mr. Siddiqui any reasons for its alleged security concerns.
30. On April 24, 2015, after his meeting with NetJets, Mr. Siddiqui filed a Charge of
Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
31. NetJets filed its position statement on September 22, 2015, claiming that Mr. Siddiqui was
placed on administrative leave because of Anti-Semitic, Anti-American statements he
allegedly made. Employees allegedly accusing Mr. Siddiqui of these supposed statements
were never named in NetJets position statement. Instead, NetJets presented a summary of
interviews which it claimed supported its allegations against Mr. Siddiqui, including notes
from one of NetJets in-house attorneys. According to NetJets summary, it first received
complaints regarding Mr. Siddiqui in November 2012, but inexplicably took no action until
nearly a year later.

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32. NetJets made clear in its position statement that it had deemed the allegations against Mr.
Siddiqui to be valid before speaking to him in order to hear his side or response, if any,
regarding any relevant conversations. Net Jets suspended Mr. Siddiqui in September 2013
without first attempting to allow him to respond to the allegations against him, and did not
question him or allow the opportunity for any response until more than a year and a half
later, in April 2015. NetJets also stated to the EEOC that it deemed the responses Mr.
Siddiqui gave to the vague questions, presented to him without context, in April 2015 to
be lies, and therefore it deemed him to have committed an ethical violation by lying.
33. NetJets emphasized to the EEOC that it had not yet decided whether to end Mr. Siddiquis
employment, and that he therefore had no right to complain of discrimination or retaliation.
34. Not once during the EEOC investigation did NetJets state that Mr. Siddiqui ever threatened
to, advocated or did engage in any terrorist activity against anyone.
35. The EEOC issued a Notice of Right to Sue on May 11, 2016, which Mr. Siddiqui received
on May 16, 2016.
36. Mr. Siddiqui, through prior counsel, filed suit within 90 days of receiving the Notice of
Right to Sue. The day after he filed suit, by way of correspondence dated August 11, 2016,
he received notice that his employment with NetJets was terminated. This occurred nearly
three years after his original suspension and four years after the allegations referenced, yet
NetJets still gave no specifics as to the allegations against him. The termination letter was
dated exactly 90 days after the EEOC dismissed its investigation, during which NetJets
represented to the EEOC that Mr. Siddiqui remained employed and had suffered no adverse
action about which he could complain.

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37. Oddly, Mr. Siddiqui received further correspondence from NetJets dated August 24, 2016,
providing more purported support for his termination. This correspondence vaguely
referenced comments allegedly made in 2012, and Mr. Siddiquis responses in April 2015
to generalized accusations, respectively four years prior to termination, and sixteen months
prior to termination, as the events which triggered his August 11, 2016 termination.
38. Because of Net Jets delay in resolving its investigation, Mr. Siddiqui lost his qualification
to fly a commercial plane without extensive re-training.
39. When Mr. Siddiqui was placed on administrative leave, he also lost per diem, extended
paid leave and holiday pay. Mr. Siddiqui was listed as off flight status due to security
concerns, making it impossible for him to find comparable work with any major airline.
40. Upon information and belief, Mr. Siddiqui further believes that NetJets delayed resolving
his employment status to further harm him due to his age, as the three year delay in
resolving his suspension and his ultimate termination, based on allegations backdated even
further, made finding comparable alternate employment extremely difficult due to his age.
Mr. Siddiqui stated at the April 2015 meeting, through the EEOC process, and again
through labor counsel in communications prior to his termination, that he had concerns
about being able to find new employment at his age and with resultingly lapsed credentials.
Furthermore, NetJets executives are aware that major airlines have mandatory retirement
for pilots at age 65. NetJets executives know that it is standard industry practice to require
ten to fifteen years of employment with a particular employer before pilots can achieve the
rank of Captain. Therefore, by its unjust delay and unsubstantiated allegations, and due to
his age, NetJets prevented Mr. Siddiqui from being subsequently promotable as a pilot.

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41. Mr. Siddiqui has actively looked for work in order to mitigate his damages. He took a lesser
job with another airline once he was able to do so, which supplemented, but did not fully
offset, his lost pay. Furthermore, he has worked as an airplane mechanic (and encountered
no security clearance difficulties in doing so) in an effort to partially offset his lost wages.
42. On September 22, 2016, Mr. Siddiqui filed an additional Charge of Discrimination with
the EEOC, alleging discrimination and retaliation based on his race, color, national origin,
age and religion, as well as retaliation. In addition to referencing and incorporating the
previous allegations in his original Charge, he now included his termination, which
occurred exactly 90 days after the dismissal of the first Charge of Discrimination.
43. On October 18, 2016, the EEOC issued its Notice of Right to Sue as to the subsequent
Charge of Discrimination.
44. This Amended Complaint is properly filed within 90 days of Mr. Siddiquis receipt of his
Notice of Right to Sue.
45. Mr. Siddiqui has therefore satisfied all jurisdictional and administrative prerequisites for
this action to proceed.
CLAIMS FOR RELIEF
Count I. Discrimination in Violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1866
46. Paragraphs 1 - 45 are incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.
47. NetJets profiled and suspended, and ultimately terminated Plaintiff, because he is Muslim
and of South Asian, Pakistani descent. Plaintiff was subjected to unlawful discrimination
up to and including his termination, in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C.
1981.

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48. Plaintiff suffered damages as a result of NetJets unlawful conduct, including loss of flight
experience, loss of qualifications, economic hardship including lost wages, emotional pain
and suffering, and humiliation.
49. In discriminating against Plaintiff, NetJets acted with malice and reckless disregard for
Plaintiffs federally protected rights.
Count II. Retaliation in Violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1866
50. Paragraphs 1 - 45 are incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.
51. In response to Plaintiffs complaints of discrimination, NetJets unreasonably extended
Plaintiffs suspension with significantly lower pay and ultimately terminated him, thus
retaliating against Plaintiff for opposing, during his employment, the racial and religious
discrimination against persons who are Muslim or of South Asian, Pakistani descent, in
violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. 1981.
52. Plaintiff suffered damages as a result of NetJets unlawful retaliation, including loss of
flight experience, loss of qualifications, economic hardship including lost wages,
emotional pain and suffering, and humiliation.
53. In retaliating against Plaintiff, NetJets acted with malice and reckless disregard for
Plaintiffs federally protected rights.
Count III. Discrimination in Violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
54. Paragraphs 1 - 45 are incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.
55. Plaintiff belongs to protected classes, as he is a Muslim of South Asian, Pakistani descent.
56. NetJets took adverse action against Plaintiff by profiling him, suspending him, decreasing
his pay, unreasonably extending his suspension, and ultimately terminating him, which led
to his qualifications expiring, because of his race, religion and national origin.

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57. Upon information and belief, similarly situated non-Muslim, non-South Asian, and nonPakistani employees were treated more favorably by NetJets than Plaintiff.
58. NetJets has no legitimate business reason for its extended suspension or termination of
Plaintiff, nor for taking any other adverse actions against Plaintiff.
59. Any claims by NetJets that Plaintiff was suspended or terminated because of anti-Semitic,
anti-American statements and/or previous FBI investigations are mere pretext for
discrimination, as it was made clear that Plaintiff was never the subject of any relevant FBI
investigation. Furthermore, the time lapse alone between the vaguely referenced 2012
allegations, or Plaintiffs responses in the April 2015 meeting, and Plaintiffs termination
is facially self-defeating and pretextual.
60. Based on the foregoing, NetJets unlawfully discriminated against Plaintiff by suspending
him, decreasing his pay, and extending his suspension and ultimately terminating him to
the point of losing his qualifications, because of his race, religion, and national origin in
violation of 42 U.S.C. 2000e et. seq.
61. As a result of this unlawful discrimination, Plaintiff suffered damages as a result of NetJets
unlawful conduct, including loss of flight experience, loss of qualifications, economic
hardship including lost wages, emotional pain and suffering, and humiliation.
62. In discriminating against Plaintiff, NetJets acted with malice and reckless disregard for his
federally protected rights.
63. Plaintiff has satisfied all conditions precedent for bringing suit under Title VII.
Count IV. Retaliation in Violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
64. Paragraphs 1 - 45 are incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.

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65. Based on the foregoing, NetJets retaliated against Plaintiff by unreasonably extending his
suspension and terminating him without legitimate reason, because of his voiced
opposition to discrimination against Muslims and persons of South Asian and Pakistani
ancestry, in violation of 42 U.S.C. 2000e-3(a).
66. Plaintiff suffered damages as a result of NetJets unlawful retaliation, including loss of
flight experience, loss of qualifications, economic hardship including lost wages,
emotional pain and suffering, and humiliation.
67. In retaliating against Plaintiff, NetJets acted with malice and reckless disregard for his
federally protected rights.
68. Plaintiff has satisfied all conditions precedent for bringing suit under Title VII.
COUNT V: Age Discrimination
69. Paragraphs 1 - 45 are incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.
70. Plaintiff belongs to a protected class, as he is over forty years old.
71. NetJets took adverse action against Plaintiff by profiling him, suspending him, decreasing
his pay, unreasonably extending his suspension, and ultimately terminating him, which led
to his qualifications expiring, because of his age.
72. Upon information and belief, similarly situated younger employees were treated more
favorably by NetJets than Plaintiff.
73. NetJets had no legitimate business reason for its extended suspension or termination of
Plaintiff, nor for taking any other adverse actions against Plaintiff.
74. Any claims by NetJets stating that Plaintiff was suspended or terminated because of antiSemitic, anti-American statements and/or previous FBI investigations are mere pretext
for discrimination, as it was made clear that Plaintiff was never the subject of any relevant

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FBI investigation, and the delay in time alone from the stated reasons for NetJets actions
and the dates of the actions shows pretext by NetJets on its face.
75. Based on the foregoing, NetJets unlawfully discriminated against Plaintiff by suspending
him, decreasing his pay, and extending his suspension to the point of losing his
qualification, and ultimately terminating him, because of his age in violation of the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act.

NetJets knew or should have known that the

mandatory retirement age for pilots at major airlines is 65. NetJets also knew or should
have known that in prolonging his suspension and ultimately terminating him, NetJets
rendered Plaintiff unpromotable even if he were to be hired by a major airline.
76. As a result of this unlawful discrimination, Plaintiff suffered damages, including loss of
flight experience, loss of qualifications, economic hardship including lost wages,
emotional pain and suffering, and humiliation.
77. In discriminating against Plaintiff, NetJets acted with malice and reckless disregard for his
federally protected rights.
78. Plaintiff has satisfied all conditions precedent for bringing suit under the ADEA.
COUNT VI: Retaliation for Complaining Regarding Age Discrimination
79. Paragraphs 1 - 45 are incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.
80. Based on the foregoing, NetJets retaliated against Plaintiff by unreasonably extending his
suspension without reason and ultimately terminating him, because of his voiced
opposition to discrimination based on his age, in violation of the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act.

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81. Plaintiff suffered damages as a result of NetJets unlawful retaliation, including loss of
flight experience, loss of qualifications, economic hardship including lost wages,
emotional pain and suffering, and humiliation.
82. In retaliating against Plaintiff, NetJets acted with malice and reckless disregard for his
federally protected rights.
83. Plaintiff has satisfied all conditions precedent for bringing suit under the ADEA.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF


WHEREFORE, Plaintiff Ameer Siddiqui prays that this Court enter an order:
(a) Enjoining NetJets from discriminating in the future on the basis of an employees
religion, ethnic characteristics, national origin or age, and from retaliating in the
future against employees opposing such discrimination;
(b) Requiring NetJets to reinstate Plaintiff at the level which he would have attained
absent discrimination;
(c) Awarding all lost wages and other economic damages to Plaintiff;
(d) Awarding compensatory damages to Plaintiff for emotional pain, suffering and
humiliation caused by NetJets acts of discrimination against him;
(e) Awarding punitive damages caused by NetJets acts of discrimination taken with
malice and with reckless disregard for Siddiquis federally protected rights;
(f) Awarding Plaintiff his reasonable attorney fees and costs of this action; and
(g) Awarding such other relief as this Court deems appropriate.

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Demand for Jury Trial


Plaintiff hereby demands a trial by jury on all issues so triable in this action.

Respectfully submitted,

Dated October 26, 2016

ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFF

/s/ Linda Moreno


Linda Moreno, Attorney
Florida Bar No. 0112283
P.O. Box 10985
Tampa, Florida 33679
(813) 247-4500
Of Counsel, Constitutional Law Center for
Muslims in America
Christina A. Jump
Texas Bar No. 00795828
Admitted Pro Hac Vice
833 E. Arapaho Rd., Suite 102
Richardson, TX 75081
lindamoreno.esquire@gmail.com
cjump@clcma.org
(972) 914-2507

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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true and correct copy of the foregoing Plaintiffs Amended
Complaint was served by electronic service on October 26, 2016, on all counsel or parties of record
on the service list.

/s/ Linda Moreno


Linda Moreno, Esq.

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