Miami Woman Fired For Taking Sundays Off For Church Awarded Millions Because The Lord Truly Does Giveth
The Lord giveth and...welp, that's all in this case.
God works in mysterious ways.
For Miami resident Marie Jean Pierre, her devout faith led to a massive payday. NBC 6 reports the Conrad Miami hotel dishwasher was fired in March 2016 after not showing up for six Sunday shifts in a row.
Pierre told her employer she would not be able to work Sundays because of Sunday service. The 10-year employee's faith would not allow her to dishonor God on the Lord's Day.
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“I love God,” she told NBC 6 Miami. “No work on Sunday, because Sunday I honor God.”
Around 2015, kitchen manager George Colon began scheduling her to work on Sundays knowing she didn't usually work that day. She offered to switch shifts with other workers, but ultimately her attempts to accommodate her employer did not prevent her from being terminated, reports The Miami Herald.
“They accommodated her for seven years, and they easily could have [continued to accommodate] her, but instead of doing that, they set her up for absenteeism and threw her out,” her attorney, Marc Brumer, told NBC 6. “She’s a soldier of Christ. She was doing this for all the other workers who are being discriminated against.”
Losing her job was not the end of it. She filed a lawsuit in 2017 claiming the hotel was violating her religious beliefs. Under the statutes of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, she said the hotel “created a hostile work environment.”
A jury rewarded her with a lump sum totaling well over $21 million. The amount breaks down to $21 million in damages, $35,000 in back pay and $500,000 for emotional and mental anguish.
“This was not about money,” Bruner told NBC 6. “This was about sending a message to other corporations whether big or small.
"Whatever size you are, if you’re going to take the blood and sweat of your workers, you better accommodate them or let them at least believe in their religious beliefs. Not a preference but a belief.”
However, the hotel disagrees. The Hilton-owned Conrad Miami hotel claimed it did everything possible to make concessions and accommodate Pierre's requested off day. The company will appeal the court's decision in the very near future, the New York Post reports.
"We intend to appeal, and demonstrate that the Conrad Miami was and remains a welcoming place for all guests and employees.”
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