Welcome, Guest! - or
Easy to remember!  »  VinNews.com

Texas - Dallas Sheriff’s Office Faces Lawsuit After Pulling Job Offer From Shomer Shabbos Woman

Published on: August 16, 2016 03:08 PM
Change text size Text Size  
FILE - Dallas Police Department headquarters in the Cedars neighborhood of south Dallas, Texas. (Wikimedia)FILE - Dallas Police Department headquarters in the Cedars neighborhood of south Dallas, Texas. (Wikimedia)

Dallas, TX - An Orthodox Jewish Dallas woman has filed suit in a Dallas district court after the Dallas County’s Sheriff’s Department rescinded a job offer because of her Sabbath observance.

According to court documents, Isabel Balderas had been offered a job in data management with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department in July 2013. As she was being processed for her new position, Balderas advised her employer that she would need to leave half an hour early on Friday during the winter months because of her religious beliefs. That request got Balderas fired before she ever clocked her first hour.

A statement released by the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department classified Balderas’ request as incompatible with the job requirements, which required her to be on call around the clock, seven days a week, as reported by the Dallas Morning News.

Robert Lee, Balderas’ attorney, disputed that notion.

“We disagree that the job was 24/7,” Lee told VIN News.  “She would have had an assistant who would have been trained to be available during the limited amount of time she would need for religious accommodation.  She wasn’t going to be working on Saturdays so the issue would have only been Fridays in the winter.”

Lee said that Balderas would have used vacation or sick days for Jewish holidays and that she would have made up any missed time, but that the sheriff’s department had no interest in pursuing those possibilities.

“She told them, ‘I’ll make it up.  I’ll come in early. I’ll make it up on other days,’” said Lee. “Instead they didn’t have any real discussion how to make this work and the offer was just pulled.”

Lee, who specializes in employment related law, said that he has litigated numerous cases involving many different religions.

“I’ve had some related to Jewish individuals, some involving Muslims and every other religion you can think of that is non-Christian and it seems like employers are less likely to provide accommodations,” said Lee.  “State law says that you have to provide accommodations for someone’s religious beliefs if it is reasonable and won’t create an undue burden but some employers don’t want any burden at all if it is not related to their own religious beliefs.”

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department does make numerous arrangements are made for Christian employees, alleges Balderas’ lawsuit.

After her job offer was rescinded, Balderas filed a claim with the Texas Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the first step in pursuing a legal claim against the sheriff’s department.  Lee noted that the EEOC typically deals with a large backlog of cases with minimal manpower, resulting in very lengthy waits on filings.

Balderas’s lawsuit names both Dallas County and Lupe Valdez, head of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, as defendants and seeks to recover between $100,000 to $1 million in damages and relief in a jury trial.

“My client has an understanding that a lot of Orthodox Jews won’t go into certain areas of work because of backlash relating to these circumstances,” said Lee.  “We are hoping to achieve greater tolerance to allow people to follow their religious beliefs, especially when it doesn’t create a burden for the employer, which in 99 percent of the cases it doesn’t.”


More of today's headlines

New York - The suspect in the "assassination" of an imam and his friend after they left a mosque had the murder weapon stashed in the wall of his basement apartment... Washington - Congress has received FBI documents related to the agency's recently closed investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server during her...

 

Advertisement:
Total10

Read Comments (10)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Aug 16, 2016 at 04:29 PM Anonymous Says:

May she be MATZLIACH in her efforts.

2

 Aug 16, 2016 at 05:09 PM Nachum Says:

I worked for the State of Ohio in a civil service position for 17 years. Every Yom Tov arrived, I had to get a form from the Federation, which explained in detail all of the Yom Tovim. Also, I left earlier on Friday afternoons. I knew that the goyim resented my doing so, even though the time came out of my personal leave and vacation time. However, the goyim would shiker and miss work (especially on Mondays), and that was tolerated! I guess that there will always be one standard for Yidden, and one for goyim. Incidentally, for many years, everything went smoothly. However, the last year, my supervisor transferred to another unit, and I had to go through the entire explanation again, with an even more farbisen supervisor, who wanted to know how long my going home earlier on Friday would last. Fortunately, I had enough time in from other civil service employment, to retire at a fairly young age. However, ten minutes before retirement, the same farbisen supervisor intentionally came into my office, with 300 pages for me to file. I had already filed them, but he was too dumb to realize that. I left those pages on my desk, and walked out of that office a free man!

3

 Aug 16, 2016 at 08:37 PM MarkTwain2 Says:

In my first year at work at a professional firm when I left early my first winter Friday, my friendly neighbor goy colleague inquired why and promptly declared out loud that he too was becoming Orthodox Jewish. He was good natured and said it to be cute but there was a underlying sentiment of jealousy.

4

 Aug 16, 2016 at 09:59 PM yonasonw Says:

Reply to #2  
Nachum Says:

I worked for the State of Ohio in a civil service position for 17 years. Every Yom Tov arrived, I had to get a form from the Federation, which explained in detail all of the Yom Tovim. Also, I left earlier on Friday afternoons. I knew that the goyim resented my doing so, even though the time came out of my personal leave and vacation time. However, the goyim would shiker and miss work (especially on Mondays), and that was tolerated! I guess that there will always be one standard for Yidden, and one for goyim. Incidentally, for many years, everything went smoothly. However, the last year, my supervisor transferred to another unit, and I had to go through the entire explanation again, with an even more farbisen supervisor, who wanted to know how long my going home earlier on Friday would last. Fortunately, I had enough time in from other civil service employment, to retire at a fairly young age. However, ten minutes before retirement, the same farbisen supervisor intentionally came into my office, with 300 pages for me to file. I had already filed them, but he was too dumb to realize that. I left those pages on my desk, and walked out of that office a free man!

I am administrative counsel to a large state lawn enforcement agency...in an department with very few Jews, and only one other frum Yid. I wear black, and my tzitzis out. I will add, because of what one reads on this site, with senior management that is plurality Black.

I have always been met with complete respect for my Yiddishkeit, and have meetings scheduled around my Shabbos and Yom Tov needs.

5

 Aug 17, 2016 at 12:44 AM Anonymous Says:

I worked for Northrop in LA and had to leave early on Fridays. At first my boss wanted to fire me but he was smart enough to know that was not the answer, instead he had me doing some special work one Sunday each month to make up for leaving early.

Also Xmas and New Years I could make up time too.

Some people do have sense on how to deal with a Jew leaving early.

6

 Aug 17, 2016 at 02:58 AM Anonymous Says:

If she wins her case, as a frum woman, I hope she gives maaser. I did when I won a lawsuit, & my Jewish lawyer couldn't believe I got him to cut checks immediately for the organizations I support. I hope someone will tell her that.

7

 Aug 17, 2016 at 07:04 AM Shlomo-1 Says:

Reply to #2  
Nachum Says:

I worked for the State of Ohio in a civil service position for 17 years. Every Yom Tov arrived, I had to get a form from the Federation, which explained in detail all of the Yom Tovim. Also, I left earlier on Friday afternoons. I knew that the goyim resented my doing so, even though the time came out of my personal leave and vacation time. However, the goyim would shiker and miss work (especially on Mondays), and that was tolerated! I guess that there will always be one standard for Yidden, and one for goyim. Incidentally, for many years, everything went smoothly. However, the last year, my supervisor transferred to another unit, and I had to go through the entire explanation again, with an even more farbisen supervisor, who wanted to know how long my going home earlier on Friday would last. Fortunately, I had enough time in from other civil service employment, to retire at a fairly young age. However, ten minutes before retirement, the same farbisen supervisor intentionally came into my office, with 300 pages for me to file. I had already filed them, but he was too dumb to realize that. I left those pages on my desk, and walked out of that office a free man!

Sadly, in my experience that non-Jews were generally respectful. It was the non-Observant Jews who put in complaints and created all of the hassles.

8

 Aug 17, 2016 at 09:26 AM Just Wondering.... Says:

Reply to #4  
yonasonw Says:

I am administrative counsel to a large state lawn enforcement agency...in an department with very few Jews, and only one other frum Yid. I wear black, and my tzitzis out. I will add, because of what one reads on this site, with senior management that is plurality Black.

I have always been met with complete respect for my Yiddishkeit, and have meetings scheduled around my Shabbos and Yom Tov needs.

What exactly is a lawn enforcement agency?

9

 Aug 17, 2016 at 11:55 AM ekares Says:

Reply to #8  
Just Wondering.... Says:

What exactly is a lawn enforcement agency?

Obviously a typo and you know it.

10

 Aug 17, 2016 at 10:58 PM know-what-to-say Says:

People in my office would take off time because it was their birthday. I stopped telling them I needed to leave early Fridays....too much hassle. Now I tell them I have Friday night candle-lit dinner, or I have tickets to the theater or ballgame, relatives coming in from out-of-town and need to pick them up at the airport, etc. etc. Their response? "No problem. Have a nice time. See you Monday." Been doing this for years.

11

Sign-in to post a comment

Scroll Up
Advertisements:

Sell your scrap gold and broken jewelry and earn hard cash sell gold today!