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April 23, 2012 2:04 pm

Non-Jewish Man Allowed to Sue for Anti-Semitic Abuse, Court Rules

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Train tracks in Trenton, New Jersey. Photo: wiki commons.

A New Jersey state appellate court has ruled that Myron Cowher is within his right to sue a former employer for anti-Semitic remarks made at the workplace, despite the fact that Cowher himself is not Jewish.

In a 3-0 ruling by the court, they wrote that the “proper question” in the case was whether or not the comments alleged to have been made in the presence of Cower, would be offensive to “a reasonable Jew”, as opposed to someone of a different faith or background.

In court, the two men alleged to have made anti-Semitic comments to Cowher, including “only a Jew would argue over his hours,” and ‘if you were a German, we would burn you in the oven,” said they knew Cowher was not Jewish, claiming they “traced the origin of their comments to the fact that the plaintiff and his wife took a cut on the proceeds of a Super Bowl pool that they were running, thereby conforming to the stereotype of Jews as avaricious.”

The court ruled that if Cowher could prove the remarks would not have been made if he wasn’t perceived to have been Jewish, the lawsuit would be covered under anti-discrimination laws.

Lawyers for Carson & Roberts, Myron Cowher’s former employer, have not said whether they will move ahead with an appeal of the decision at the state’s Supreme Court.  They have argued in court that the remarks in question were part of “friendly banter”.

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