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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘German Irish’

NJ Court: Non-Jew Can Sue for Anti-Semitic Remarks

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

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.

Court: Non-Jew May Sue for Anti-Semitic Slurs

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

A New Jersey appeals court has ruled that a man can sue for enduring anti-Semitic slurs from former employers despite not being Jewish.

Myron Cowher, a former truck driver for Carson & Roberts Site Constructions & Engineering Inc., sued the company and former supervisors after allegedly enduring anti-Semitic comments for more than a year. His suit alleges discrimination that resulted in a hostile work environment.

The Appellate Division of New Jersey Superior Court reversed a Superior Court judge in a 3-0 decision. The appeals court stated that the “proper question” is what effect the derogatory comments would have on “a reasonable Jew,” not on Cowher, who is of German-Irish and Lutheran background.

Experts say the ruling will expand the scope of who can sue for discrimination under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination by allowing anyone, not just a member of the protected class, to pursue the claim. This significantly broadens the interpretation of the law, which typically has protected people based on their actual age, race, religion or sexuality.

Gregg Salka, an associate at Fisher & Phillips law firm who works with small-business clients, told The Star-Ledger newspaper that “Anyone can pretty much bring a claim, even if they’re not a member of a protected class. It moves the focus more towards the discriminatory comments rather than the actual characteristic of the plaintiff.”

Cowher, of Dingmans Ferry, Pa., said he was the subject of anti-Semitic banter from January 2007 until May 2008, when he left the company for unrelated reasons. His supervisors admitted to directing anti-Semitic slurs at Cowher but insisted that it was part of a “locker-room type exchange” in which Cowher “willingly participated.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/court-non-jew-may-sue-for-anti-semitic-slurs/2012/04/23/

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