Biotech firm Genentech employee sues over harassment

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A sign is displayed in front of the Genetech headquarters July 14, 2008 in South San Francisco, California. Biothech firm Genentech is being sued for $4.1 million in actual and punitive damages for harassment.

A Muslim woman is suing biotech company Genentech, alleging the firm pushed her out following complaints she made about a co-worker's harassment related to her religion and national origin.

The San Mateo Daily Journal reports that Nadia Noorzai filed the lawsuit Thursday seeking $4.1 million in actual and punitive damages.

Noorzai's suit claims a fellow employee belittled her in front of others, asking if her relatives from Afghanistan were members of the Taliban or if Noorzai was on the no-fly list.

Noorzai said she complained to management and human resources, and was told to "chill out and have a vodka." She claims she was made to take unpaid medical leave to deal with the stress.

In a statement, the company denied wrongdoing saying it acted lawfully.

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