Maryland State Department of Personnel Charged with Religious Bias
Menu JTA Search

Maryland State Department of Personnel Charged with Religious Bias

Download PDF for this date

Maryland State Senator Paul A. Dorf has accused the Maryland State Department of Personnel of religious discrimination against Jews and Seventh Day Adventists because it tests Job applicants only on Saturday. Mr. Dorf called on Gov. J. Millard Tawes “to end this great injustice and religious intolerance.”

He told the Governor he checked with state authorities and found that no action is contemplated to remedy the situation. In a letter to Gov. Tawes, Mr. Dorf told how a Jewish woman was “denied the right to take a state examination due to her religious beliefs.” She sought a position with the Maryland State Institutions for Mental Health and was told the test was given only on Saturdays. “As a member of the Jewish faith, she will not violate her Sabbath by taking the test on Saturday,” said Mr. Dorf.

Mr. Dorf wrote to State Personnel Commissioner Russell Davis and was “amazed and shocked at his reply.” Mr. Davis admitted an increasing demand for examinations on days other than Saturday from Jews and Seventh Day Adventists. But he had no intention of changing his position because Saturday is the only day the required staff is available. Mr. Dorf said the situation amounted to outright religious discrimination and served notice as State Senator that “unless this situation is immediately rectified administratively, I shall request legislative action and possibly court suit.”

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund