NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New Jersey Transit employee fired for publicly burning pages of the Koran on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks is getting his job back.
According to the settlement, Derek Fenton will receive $25,000 for pain and suffering when he resumes his $86,110-a-year job. He’ll also receive back pay equal to $331.20 for every day since his firing on Sept. 13, 2010.
The state will also pay $25,000 in legal fees to the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a lawsuit claiming Fenton’s right to free expression was violated.
The ACLU of New Jersey had filed the suit on Fenton’s behalf, calling NJ Transit’s actions illegal.
While the ACLU said it denounced anti-Muslim sentiment expressed over the so-called Ground Zero mosque, it says it stands up “for the constitutional right to express all viewpoints.”
The 40-year-old was not working when he set fire to three pages of the Koran last September in Lower Manhattan to protest a planned Islamic center near the former World Trade Center site.
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