A jury in Ohio has awarded financial compensation to a Jewish attorney who was fired in 2016 by Butler County Judge Greg S. Stephens for requesting time off for the Jewish High Holy Days, according to the Above the Law website.
The attorney, Kimberly Edelstein, was awarded $835,000 in back pay, $250,000 in compensatory damages and $35,000 in punitive damages after the jury found that her First Amendment rights were violated.
The jury did not, however, find that Edelstein’s 14th Amendment rights were violated.
Edelstein originally worked for Judge Stephens’ predecessor and was then hired by the judge when he took over the seat.
The judge hit the roof, however, when she told him in July 2016 that she needed to take eight non-consecutive days off in October for the Jewish holidays. She added that the previous judge had allowed her to do so.
Although Judge Stephens said “Fine,” according to the filings reported by Law360, he in fact fired her the very next day, with her termination finalized in August of that year.
“We strongly believe the evidence did not support the verdict and we are considering our options,” Linda L. Woeber, attorney for the judge, said.