web analytics
January 25, 2015 / 5 Shevat, 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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends an event held at the International Conference Center in Jerusalem of the Taglit Birthright program, where Netanyahu was the guest speaker. January 14, 2015.
Netanyahu ‘Will Go Anywhere Invited’ to Prevent Iran from Achieving Nuclear Weapons
Latest Indepth Stories
Social Media pic

Our journey begins by attempting to see things differently, only then can we be open to change.

Middle-East-map

Despite Western ‘Conventional Wisdom&PC,’ the Arab/Israeli conflict was never about the Palestinians

Salamon-012315

Confrontation & accountability, proven techniques, might also help dealing with religious terrorists

Weiss-012315

In fact, wherever you see soldiers in Paris today, you pretty much know you’re near Jewish site

Inspired by the Perek Shira pasuk for “small non-kosher animals” we named the bunny “Rebbetzin Tova”

The abuse following publication proved a cautionary tale: no one followed in Peters’s footsteps

Plainly, there is no guiding hand dictating choices across the board.

How many sites that tell you to check your politics at the door have 10,000 likes?

In this particular case, the issue was whether the Arkansas prison system could prohibit, for security reasons, a devout Muslim’s maintaining a beard of a certain length as a matter of religious practice.

While we recognize the Republican Jewish Coalition is hardly a non-partisan outfit, a snippet from a statement the group released is worthy of note:

“These are good matzah balls,” my aunt Robertine would say, but her sister Irma would counter “No, not compared to Mama’s. They were always so light yet they never fell apart.”

Despite the 2005 Koby Mandell Act no Palestinian implicated in harming an American has been charged

The NY Times suggestion that HaMavesar cropping women from a photo is Israeli censorship is absurd.

Netanyahu remains obsessed with gaining the unattainable love from the EU and all Jew-hating Europe

More Articles from Editorial Board

In this particular case, the issue was whether the Arkansas prison system could prohibit, for security reasons, a devout Muslim’s maintaining a beard of a certain length as a matter of religious practice.

According to Natan Sharansky, director of the Jewish Agency for Israel, France was the largest source of Jewish emigration to Israel last year and he believes as many as 15,000 French Jews may make aliyah in 2015.

Despite the president’s respectable anti-terrorism record, he doubtless has little interest in being identified with anything that might suggest, however tangentially, criticism of Muslims or Islam.

One wonders what connection that rejection has with turning to the ICC, which would allow the Palestinians to bring war-crime charges against individual Israelis and is certainly one more step away from seeking a negotiated settlement.

In the NPR interview, Mr. Obama said Iran could become a “very successful regional power” if it agreed to a long-term nuclear deal.

Thus, despite the increasingly serious problems for the mayor arising out of the current anti-police protests, Mr. de Blasio apparently will be cut no slack by those who seem to be aiming for a significant role in running the city from the streets and who will do whatever they can to prevent their momentum from ebbing.

Despite strong pressure to throw the book at the accused, Mr. Thompson allowed him to plead guilty to assault.

It seems to us that while the Jewish entitlement to the land of Israel transcends the Holocaust, the Jewish experience during that tragic time is the most solid of foundations for these “national rights.”

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: