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May 29, 2015 7:18 pm

UK Jewish Woman Awarded $24,500 Payout After Firm Snubs Her Sabbath Observance

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

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Manchester Town Hall. Photo: Wikipedia

A 23-year-old Jewish woman in the U.K. was awarded £16,000 ($24,464) from a potential employer that turned down her application because she refused to work on the Jewish Sabbath.

After securing an interview Travel Jigsaw in Manchester, Auerlie Fhima received a letter from the firm telling her: “After careful consideration we cannot offer you a position at this time. We are still looking for people who are flexible enough to work Saturdays.”

When the travel agent rejected reconsidering her for the job, Fhima took legal action and filed a lawsuit claiming indirect discrimination on the grounds of religion.

The court ordered Travel Jigsaw to pay Fhima £8,000 for loss and earnings, £7,500 for injury of feelings and £1,200 in fees, according to the British Daily Mail.

“I tried to accommodate them as much as I could. I understand it is a business, but I said I could change shifts and work round it. But they said I was not flexible and were not prepared to play around with the hours,” said Fhima, according to the Daily Mail.

She said she had found a job working in a new company who accepted her observance of the Jewish Sabbath on Saturday, when religious Jews neither work nor handle money, among other traditions.

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  • Alter
  • Mh8169

    Good job for standing up for your principles. The lack of flexibility in this organization says a lot. I suspect this company will be non-existent in ten years unless it changes its management model.

  • francoise Michaelis

    I do not agree with you, it is not a success!
    Nowadays an employer cannot say what he wants.
    The tyranny of religion can be terrible.
    and maimonide said that if you are obliged to work on shabbat not because you are a jew but beacause it is necessary, you have to do it.

  • Sarah Brandeis

    Congrats. Your courage strength and EMUNAH are felt. Bravo

  • Mickey Oberman

    Congratulations Auerlie..

    Your victory is a victory for all Jews everywhere.

  • I don’t think this is a very good idea/outcome. Every muslim in the UK will now be able to take Fr off, for a precedent has been created.

  • Paul

    This is an unfortunate case of misuse of legal rights, in a way that is damaging to Jews. It cuts of the branch she is sitting on.
    When I was in the Army, I encountered 2 types of religious soldier: there were those who demanded to be relieved of certain common morning duties, because they had to say their morning prayers. And these soldiers appeared as parasites, exploiting their religious beliefs and giving their religious beliefs a bad name.
    But I also served with soldiers who rose 30 minutes BEFORE the others,so they could say their morning prayers BEFORE the common duties, and thus not exploit their religious beliefs by demanding privileges at the expense of others. These soldiers gained the utmost respect for themselves and for their beliefs.
    This woman’s religious beliefs are her own choice, and demanding special privileges at the expense of others is a bad way to go. She should fight diligently for the right to practice her religion freely, but she has no right to impose her special needs on others who do not share her beliefs.

  • ms Bo Salsberg

    I am surprised she won. If the position calls for Saturdays, even if it occasional, then she is not suitable. It is her choice as to what she can and will do. I don’t think she would have been offered the job here in the USA either. It is not discrimination. She applied for a position that clearly indicated Saturday hours. I am glad she found another position that suited her observance of the shabbot.

  • Understand it all but but is it used as an excuse not to work? Manipulate the system so it fits you

  • Leo Toystory

    Should a company not be able to hire employees who fit their needs?