Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Discriminating Against Christians

A Guest Post By Rafi G

The New York Post is reporting on a lawsuit in which a Roman Catholic former employee of an Orthodox owned jewelry store is suing for gender and religious discrimination.
It was her cross not to bare -- a Roman Catholic woman says she was banned from wearing her crucifix while working for Orthodox Jews at a Manhattan frame and watch wholesaler.
Jamie Errico said she was told not wear crosses to work at Concepts in Time near Herald Square - and on one occasion when she did, store owner Saul Jemal pulled her aside and told her to "remove it or tuck it under her shirt, and never wear it again," Errico charged in a discrimination suit against the store.
Jemal, the suit added, also "refused to allow plaintiff to make or sell watches with any kind of non-Jewish religious symbols."
The Manhattan Supreme Court suit accuses the store of having a double standard, noting that Jemal and the other Orthodox men all wore yarmulkes, while the women were allowed to wear Star of David necklaces.
Errico, 41, also complained that while Jewish employees were allowed to leave early on the eve of important religious holidays, she had her pay docked when she didn't work on Christmas Eve , which isn't actually a holiday.
Errico, who was fired from her sales VP job last December, is now suing the company for unspecified money damages for the alleged gender and religious discrimination.
Her lawyer, Matthew Blit, said, "Freedom of religion is a fundamental right in this country. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of religion or deny a person a religious accommodation because they believe in a different religion."
I see the allegation of religious discrimination, but I don't see any allegation of gender discrimination. Even the religious discrimination, it does not say how long she worked there and allegedly suffered from the discrimination, not that it makes a difference.

I don't believe the claim that they were not allowed to make or sell watches or jewelry with non-Jewish symbols. That is a crock. Non-Jewish symbols in jewelry is the bread and butter of the jewelry industry and all Orthodox owned jewelry stores (outside of Israel), just like all other jewelry stores, make and sell jewelry with non-Jewish symbols. How else will they take advantage of the major shopping seasons of the year that are based around the non-Jewish holidays!

And anyways, if she was a salesperson, why would they not allow her to sell such jewelry if it was in their inventory? And if she was a salesperson, why would she have any influence on the manufacturing process and what type of jewelry was being made that they had to ban her from making jewelry with non-Jewish symbols? As a salesperson she would not have been making any jewelry, and would be trying to sell any jewelry that was included in the store's inventory list!

To me it looks like this suit is a hyped up allegation, perhaps based on a misunderstanding of a comment someone once made. And perhaps she was doing more than just wearing her crucifix - perhaps she was promoting her religion and being annoying about it and they told her to stop and put it away..

Not that Jews dont have the ability to be discriminatory - we do and we do it as much as anybody else. This case, as described, looks to me to be more made up than real.

Search for more information about discrimination at 4torah.com.

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