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Montreal - Quebec Court Awards Damages To Jewish Hairdresser Fired For Working On Shabbat

Published on: July 16, 2017 09:30 PM
By: JTA
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Richard Zilberg (Courtesy Global News ) Richard Zilberg (Courtesy Global News )

Montreal -  A Jewish hairdresser who was fired for refusing — against the orders of his Jewish boss — to take Shabbat off was awarded nearly $10,000 by a Quebec court for having his religious rights violated.

The Quebec Human Rights Tribunal on Thursday ordered the payment by former salon owner Iris Grassy two years after she failed to compensate hairstylist Richard Zilberg, 54, $15,000 in damages recommended by the Quebec Human Rights Commission. The Commission has the power to recommend but not order damage awards.

“After five years, I finally obtained justice,” Zilberg said following the ruling.

“This judgment is a reminder that an employer cannot impose different working conditions on an employee on the basis of his or her religion,” Commission President Tamara Thermitus said in a statement on Thursday.

Zilberg had worked for the salon since 2011 and Saturday was usually its busiest day, but Grassy told Zilberg in 2012 to stop coming in on Saturdays. He refused and was fired.

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The ruling may be only a moral victory for Zilberg, according to Fo Niemi, executive director of the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations, which helped Zilberg in his initial complaint, since he might have to seek execution of the ruling by requesting a seizure of Grassy’s assets.

“When I as a Jew am discriminated against by another Jew, to the point of losing my job, income and dignity, that is something intolerable,” Zilberg said two years ago following the recommendation of the Quebec Human Rights Commission. “I come from a long line of Jewish people and I love my faith, but it is 2015 and I can choose how I want to practice.”



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Read Comments (8)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 17, 2017 at 12:14 AM common-sense Says:

He can practice his "religion" any way he wants, but he has no right to a particular job. Awarding him money is outrageous.

2

 Jul 17, 2017 at 09:02 AM georgeg Says:

Reply to #1  
common-sense Says:

He can practice his "religion" any way he wants, but he has no right to a particular job. Awarding him money is outrageous.

But he already had the job (and granted to work on Saturday) and it was then taken away. There are rules about employer's responsibility and liability when taken away a job or reducing hours.

3

 Jul 17, 2017 at 10:12 AM Anonymous Says:

I don't get the details of the case. Was the store closed on shabbos and the employee was trying to get the boss to open it on shabbos? Like what happened here

4

 Jul 17, 2017 at 01:16 PM Yandel Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I don't get the details of the case. Was the store closed on shabbos and the employee was trying to get the boss to open it on shabbos? Like what happened here

Seems pretty clear that the store was opened on Shabbos. It's just that the ower didn't want his Jewish employees to work on that day.

5

 Jul 17, 2017 at 01:21 PM josebar Says:

yes like anonymous says ,, why dont you write the article corecctly, what a fake news report . Was the store closed and he tried to brake in, What a dumb article writer

6

 Jul 17, 2017 at 01:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Yandel Says:

Seems pretty clear that the store was opened on Shabbos. It's just that the ower didn't want his Jewish employees to work on that day.

Faker, modern Yiddishkeit

7

 Jul 19, 2017 at 05:17 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
josebar Says:

yes like anonymous says ,, why dont you write the article corecctly, what a fake news report . Was the store closed and he tried to brake in, What a dumb article writer

While I agree with your position, your spelling and grammar are atrocious and embarrassing.

"corecctly"? "brake"? punctuation and grammar? Please don't make the wrong side of the argument look like illiterates.....

8

 Jul 19, 2017 at 05:19 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Faker, modern Yiddishkeit

your reply doesn't make any sense.

I don't believe the mechalel Shabbos should get a penny, but you don't represent the frum side as educated or logical.

9

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