web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Sabbath Observing Professor Wins Signal Legal Victory

A Sabbath-observant Orthodox Associate Professor of Education at William Paterson College, a state-run university in New Jersey, won a resounding landmark victory from a federal court of appeals in her religious-discrimination lawsuit. A unanimous Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a 38-page opinion sending the claims of Dr. Gertrude Abramson back to trial court for a full jury trial on her allegations that she had been subjected to a ''hostile work environment'' because of harassment relating to her observance of the Sabbath and Jewish religious holidays. The Court also upheld her claims that her employment had been terminated because she observed religious holidays, and that the College retaliated against her because she maintained her religious observance.

Professor Abramson's appeal was supported by a friend-of-the-court brief filed by The National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs (''COLPA''). Nathan Lewin, the internationally renowned constitutional litigator, wrote the amicus curiae brief and presented part of the oral argument in Philadelphia before the Court of Appeals on behalf of Professor Abramson. Circuit Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. quoted the following language from Mr. Lewin's amicus curiae brief in his short concurring opinion:

When an employer deliberately reschedules important meetings for Friday afternoons, the message to an Orthodox Jewish employee is clear as a bell. Such rescheduling tells the employee that continued observance of his or her faith will be viewed as incompatible with adequate job performance. Repeated requests that work be done on Saturdays or Jewish holidays ? or telephone messages left on a Jewish religious holiday demanding an 'immediate' response ? are aimed directly at an employee's religious observance. Criticism of an employee's effort to reconcile his or her schedule with the observance of Jewish holidays delivers the message that the religious observer is not welcome at the place of employment.

Professor Abramson advised the chairman of her department when she began teaching at the college that she would not be able to teach on Jewish holidays. The chairperson of her department questioned her unavailability on Friday nights and Saturdays, and scheduled faculty meetings for Friday afternoons. The College's tenure committee commended Professor Abramson's work and recommended her for early tenure, but that decision was overruled by the Dean and the President of the College.

The trial judge ruled that the President's decision was based on grounds other than religious discrimination and granted summary judgment in favor of the College. Judge Marjorie O. Rendell of the United States Court of Appeals said that there was ''ample evidence to support Abramson's religious discrimination claim'' and ''ample proof'' of a causal connection between her complaints of religious discrimination and the president's decision to deny tenure and terminate her employment.

Lindsay N. Feinberg, the New York City attorney who represented Professor Abramson, called this a ''grand-slam victory for Dr. Abramson'' that accepted all of her arguments.

Mr. Lewin expressed the hope that this overwhelming victory will be a precedent that will enable other religiously observant Jewish employees to prevail over discrimination in the workplace.

We are gratified with this result and salute Nat Lewin, a Vice-President of COLPA, for his continuing, indefatigable efforts in defense of our right to fully participate in all aspects of American society. It was Mr. Lewin who actually drafted the federal law that requires employers across the country to reasonably accommodate the religious needs of employees on the job.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Sabbath Observing Professor Wins Signal Legal Victory”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Indepth Stories
Eller-102414-Cart

I had to hire a babysitter so that I could go shopping or have someone come with me to push Caroline in her wheelchair.

Bills to restore the balance of power in Israel will be fought by the not-so-judicial left.

Widespread agreement in Israel opposing Palestinian diplomatic warfare, commonly called “lawfare.”

Chaye Zisel Braun

Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.

Peace Now Chairman Yariv Oppenheimer

The Israeli left, led by tenured academics, endorses pretty much anything harmful to its own country

We were devastated: The exploitation of our father’s murder as a vehicle for political commentary.

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Torah scroll which my family donated will ride aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

More Articles from Editorial Board

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

That key is the disarming of Hamas and the demilitarization of Gaza – as the U.S., EU, and others agreed to in principle at the end of Operation Protective Edge.

We have no doubt there are those who deeply desire to present themselves as being of a gender that is not consistent with their anatomy, and we take no joy in the pain and embarrassment they suffer.

Given the vitality of Hamas, Israel can hardly rely on the commitments, even if sincere, of PA President Mahmoud Abbas for its security.

Is the president oblivious to polls saddling him with some of the lowest presidential popularity rankings in recent history?

The Jewish Press mourns the passing of Rose Lesser, a”h.

There is not even a hint of recognition that Hamas deliberately fires rockets at civilian targets in Israel while storing arms and rocket launchers among its own civilians in Gaza.

No one with any sanity would dream of rationalizing or justifying the depredations perpetrated on the Arab world by ISIS.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/sabbath-observing-professor-wins-signal-legal-victory/2001/08/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: