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Newark Policemen Receive No Pay for Jewish Holidays, Court Says

The State Supreme Court ruled unanimously yesterday that the City of Newark must dock the pay of Jewish policemen who take time off for Jewish holidays. The court also upheld unanimously the authority of the city to grant days off for religious observance to all members of the police force without pay.

The court action was started by Newark Police Sgt. Joseph A. Ebler, who was later promoted to lieutenant. He complained that while all Newark police received 12 paid holidays per year with additional time off charged against accrued overtime pay, the city’s 25 Jewish policemen received an additional six religious holidays annually without loss of overtime pay which, he said enabled them to earn $200 more each year than non-Jewish policemen.

The Newark Shomrim Society, an organization of Jewish policemen, asserted that a similar overtime practice had been applied to Christian policemen when they took off for such religious observances as Communion breakfasts and participation in Holy Name parades. Both Lt. Elbert and the Shomrim Society expressed dissatisfaction with the court’s rulings and both said they may appeal the decision.

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