web analytics
May 5, 2015 / 16 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


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.

Current Top Story
New York Police Department
NYPD Cop Dies 2 Days After Shooting, 3rd in 5 Months
Latest Indepth Stories
Nathan Lewin

FBI’s undercover agents contacted ORA (Org. for the Resolution of Agunot pretending to be an agunah.

Discovery of Jewish artifacts at base of Temple Mount
dating to period before creation of Islam

Israel promotes coexistence and peace, providing freedom for all religions on the Temple Mount.

Dollars

The Jewish vote won’t impact polls as much as it will the coffers of candidates and their Super PACs

The Maersk Tigris

Iran stands unopposed by the “international community” and is racing to assert regional dominance.

If some Israeli cops got a Jewish education & learned to love Jews, Israel would be a better place

No where in the world is there the level of intervention by foreign countries as exists in Israel.

The Ravens’ Ray Lewis screamed that violence is never the answer.” Unfortunately, he is wrong.

Obama is the latest incarnation of our ancient enemies who arise every generation with a new face

Why do Jews, then, sometimes feel more intensely about Polish anti-Semitism than they do about German anti-Semitism?

The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.

Jews thank Hashem at every step. We thank Him for our most basic physical existence. We thank Hashem for every step, for every breath, for every aspect of our elevation from the dust.

Jewish settlement of the land and the resulting employment opportunities drew the Arabs to Palestine

More Articles from Editorial Board

The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.

A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.

More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.

For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.

He went on to say that the United States would defend Israel if it were “attacked by any state.”

In their zechus may we all come to appreciate that life is a fleeting gift and resolve to spend every precious moment of it as if it were the last.

A worthy idea any way you look at it.

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: