A New Jersey appeals court has ruled that a man who alleges he endured anti-Semitic slurs from his former supervisors can sue them – even though he is not Jewish.
Myron Cowher, a former truck driver for Carson & Roberts Site Construction & Engineering Inc., in Lafayette, N.J., filed suit against his former employers and three supervisors for anti-Semitic jabs such as “only a Jew would argue over his hours” and “bagel meister” he says they made against him for more than a year, according to a report in the Washington Post.
A Superior Court judge had ruled that because Cowher is not Jewish, he could not sue, but the appeals court said Cowher could take the defendants to court for creating a hostile work environment, and that if he can prove the discrimination “would not have occurred but for the perception that he was Jewish,” he may enjoy a favorable outcome.
Though Cowher is Lutheran, and of German-Irish descent, the appeals court said the question at hand is whether a “reasonable Jews” would have found the comments derogatory.
The ruling will enable discrimination suits to be brought by people who are not members of the classes which the law was designed to protect.