NEW YORK (Jun. 26)
The National Broadcasting Company has agreed to hire an Orthodox Jew after the National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs (COLPA) said it would take legal action in support of the Jew’s complaint he had been refused a job by NBC because he would not work on the Jewish Sabbath.
The announcement of the NBC agreement to hire the complainant was made by Howard Rhine, COLPA president. He said the Jewish complainant had filed a statement with the New York State Division of Human Rights in which he charged that when he applied for a post as a studio technician, he was told he would be on call seven days a week, 24 hours a day and that he would have to work on Friday evenings and Saturdays on a rotating basis with other employes. He asserted that when he said he could not work on those weekend periods, he was refused the Job.
Rhine said that conversations with the NBC personnel department confirmed that Sabbath observance “was the reason for the refusal to hire.” He said that under state law, an employer must accommodate to the religious needs of Sabbath observers unless to do so would cause “undue economic hardship.” He added that “as a matter of law, the exigencies of a rotating schedule are certainly insufficient to meet this standard.”