Have you watched “Chariots of Fire” on film? In the movie, a runner has an Olympic race scheduled for Sunday. He considers Sunday to be the Sabbath and, as a Christian, feels that he should abstain from competing on that day.
The Sabbath is revered by many people besides just athletes. Apparently, it’s very important for dishwashers not to work on Sunday too.
Marie Jean Pierre, a devout Christian who started working as a dishwasher at the Conrad Miami. She says that she told her employer that she could not work on Sunday. She needed Sunday off to attend church and worship God.
She claims that she informed her employer that she would have to resign if she couldn’t have Sunday off in 2009 when she was scheduled to work on a Sunday. Her employer set up her schedule such that she would not have to work on Sundays until 2015 in order to prevent her from quitting.
Pierre was slated to work on a Sunday in 2015 as well. But the kitchen manager allowed her to swap shifts with other employees so that she could have Sunday off, but that was only for a short time. Because as soon as the hotel hired a new manager, Pierre was fired from her job, on March 31, 2016.
Her new boss quickly took issue with the Christian woman getting off work each week, despite the fact that Pierre had no issues covering her Sunday hours for seven years. She was scheduled to work on Sunday and the kitchen manager didn’t let her switch shifts, so she didn’t show up for her shift; as she was serious about not working on Sunday. Pierre was then fired for negligence, misconduct, and unexcused absences.
However, Pierre wasn’t going to take it lying down, unfortunately for her ex-employer.
Marc Brumer, an attorney for Pierre, filed a lawsuit against Park Hotels & Resorts, formerly known as Hilton Worldwide. According to him, the business broke the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law says that employers can’t discriminate based on race, sex, color, national origin, or religion. In this case, he is claiming that the company discriminated against him based on religion.
“They accommodated her for seven years, and they easily could have accommodated her, but instead of doing that, they set her up for absenteeism and threw her out. She’s a soldier of Christ. She was doing this for all the other workers who are being discriminated against,” Attorney Marc Brumer said.
After it came to light that she had been sacked in spite of fully covering her Sunday shifts in order to adhere to her beliefs, the 60-year-old employee was given a sizable payout after suing the Hilton hotel for religious discrimination.
The jury gave him $21 million in damages, $35,000 in back pay, and $500,000 for emotional distress and mental agony due to being required to work on Sundays.
“I love God. No work on Sunday, because Sunday I honor God,” Pierre said.
“I asked for $50 million, knowing that I was capped at $300,000. I didn’t do this for money. I did this to right the wrongs,” Brumer told NBC News. As Brumer explained, the federal court has a $300,000 cap on punitive damages. He did anticipate that Pierre would get at least $500,000 of her just compensation. Even though Pierre received an incredible amount, she won’t be spending it anytime soon.
“It’s not a lottery. The earth and the skies belong to God,” Pierre said, explaining that she has no intention of taking a lavish vacation to the Bahamas or purchasing a property in a posh neighborhood. Instead, she plans to use it to help orphans who hold a special place in her heart in her native Haiti.
However, Hilton refuted accusations of discrimination against Pierre despite the decision. the corporation really asserts that the dishwasher received a number of benefits in line with her own beliefs. According to the corporation, it managed its workforce in accordance with federal law’s requirements that employers give employees’ religious beliefs due attention.
“We were very disappointed by the jury’s verdict and don’t believe that it is supported by the facts of this case or the law. During Ms. Pierre’s 10 years with the hotel, multiple concessions were made to accommodate her personal and religious commitments,” Hilton said in a statement to the news station.
Watch the video below for more details: