Court in U.S. allows non-Jewish man to sue for anti-Semitic remarks
Employment attorneys say N.J. ruling is significant in that it expands the scope of who can bring discrimination suits under state law, the Washington Post reports.
A New Jersey appeals court has reportedly ruled that a non-Jewish man can sue for anti-Semitic remarks. According to the Washington Post, Myron Cowher, a former truck driver for Carson & Roberts Site Construction & Engineering Inc., in Lafayette, N.J., sued the company and three supervisors after he allegedly was the target of anti-Semitic remarks for more than a year.
According to the report, evidence brought before the state appeals court showed Cowher’s supervisors making such comments in his presence as, “Only a Jew would argue over his hours” and “If you were a German, we would burn you in the oven.”
The Washington Post explained that the appeals court did not consider the merits of Cowher’s case, only whether he has standing to pursue it.
The suit, alleging discrimination that created a hostile work environment, was reportedly dismissed by a Superior Court judge who ruled that because Cowher was not a Jew, he could not sue.
But the appeals court reversed the judge in its decision, saying that if Cowher can prove the discrimination “would not have occurred but for the perception that he was Jewish,” his claim is covered by New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination, the report said.
According to employment attorneys referred to by the Washington Post,, the New Jersey appeals court ruling “is significant in that it expands the scope of who can bring discrimination suits under the state law by allowing a person who is not actually a member of a protected class to pursue a claim.”