One hotel boss completely tried it when he attempted to make a church-going woman cast her services for someone other than the Lord on Sundays.
According to NBC 6, 60-year-old Marie Jean Pierre was a dishwasher at the Conrad Miami Hotel for over a decade when she was let go in March 2016.
Pierre, who is a devout woman of God and missionary from Haiti, said she was fired by her boss after she missed six Sundays from work to attend Bethel Baptist Church in Miami. Pierre said she told her boss when she was hired that she couldn’t work Sundays because again, she was a devout woman of God, and she shouldn’t have been scheduled to work on the Sundays she missed.
“I love God. No work on Sunday, because Sunday I honor God,” she said in an interview with NBC 6 Miami.
So, with faith the size of a mustard seed, she devoutly decided to sue the brakes off the hotel. Her lawsuit argued that her former employer, which was under Hilton at the time, had violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which protects employees from discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex or national origin.
On Monday, the jury in federal court ruled in Pierre’s favor and granted her $21 million in damages, plus $35,000 in back wages and $500,000 for emotional pain and mental anguish.
Pierre’s attorney, Marc Brumer, argued: “They accommodated her for seven years, and they easily could have accommodated her, but instead of doing that, they set her up for absenteeism and threw her out. She’s a soldier of Christ. She was doing this for all the other workers who are being discriminated against.”
Won’t he do it!?
Unfortunately, the company plans to appeal the case, saying they made multiple concessions to accommodate Pierre and her religious commitments. Pierre also won’t receive the entire $21 million, since there’s a cap on punitive damage awards in federal court. She will only cop at least $500,000 of the mill.
Either way, she and her lawyer are still celebrating the win.
“This was not about money,” Brumer said. “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.”