Religion in Society

Jewish Boss Fired Catholic Employee for Wearing Crucifix?

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

A Catholic woman from New York has sued her former boss, an Orthodox Jew, accusing him of firing her because, among other things, she wore a crucifix to work.

Jamie Errico was vice president of sales for "Concepts in Time," a store in Manhattan that sells watches and picture frames. She was fired two weeks before Christmas last year. She claims she was discriminated against because she is Catholic.

According to a report in the New York Daily News, the lawsuit says Errico's boss, Saul Jemal, was "adamant" that she not wear her crucifix to work. She said he once ordered her to tuck it inside her shirt and never wear it again.

"Jewish people were permitted to wear the Star of David freely, but she was prohibited from wearing the cross," said her lawyer, Matthew Blit.

The suit says Jewish employees are allowed to wear yarmulkes and hold daily prayer meetings in the store.

Errico also claims Jemal allowed Jewish workers to take off early on the eve of religious holidays, but she got in trouble for not working on Christmas Eve.

"Because she was Roman Catholic, the company docked her salary for taking off Christmas Eve, while the Jewish employees took holidays off at will without being docked," Blit said.

Jemal has 13 employees -- seven of them are Jewish.

This is not the first legal salvo between the company and Errico. 

The company sued Errico in April, claiming she took its "confidential and proprietary information" to another firm, costing "Concepts in Time" business.