Shipping Bureau Charged by ADL with Bias Against 2 Jewish Job Applicants for Posts in Arab Countries
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Shipping Bureau Charged by ADL with Bias Against 2 Jewish Job Applicants for Posts in Arab Countries

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An Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith complaint charging a division of the American Bureau of Shipping with, “discrimination against two American Jewish applicants for engineering posts with ABS operations in Arab countries” has been settled–with the ABS agreeing to pay a total of $10,500 and to “immediately seek out and offer positions” to the pair.

The settlement, believed to be the first of its kind, was signed by the complainants, Erika Wagner of Manhattan and Leonard Messer of Elmont, attorneys for ADL, for ABS Worldwide Technical Services, Inc., and for the New York State Division of Human Rights, which handled the case.

In addition to paying Ms. Wagner $6500 and Messer $4000 and agreeing to offer them jobs “for which they are qualified by reason of training and experience…at the prevailing rate of pay.” the ABS subsidiary also pledged that:

“All recruitment processes, hiring, employment terms and conditions and changes therein shall be maintained and conducted in a manner which does not discriminate nor have the effect of discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, marital status, age or disability.”

“In making selections or referrals for overseas employment (ABS Tech) will not take into account any exclusionary policies of a host country….All individuals will be considered and selected solely on the basis of merit…”

“(ABS Tech) shall affirmatively recruit and seek out Jews and females as employes particularly in those occupations and those areas of employment where Jews and females are now under-represented…respondents shall advise its present recruitment sources, and its own personnel assigned to recruitment that applications from Jews and females are welcome. Respondent shall also utilize sources for advertisement which shall particularly reach Jews and females such as newspapers and magazines aimed at such readership.”

“(ABS Tech) shall cooperate with the State Division of Human Rights in any compliance review of this matter….”


Bernard A. Kuttner, chairman of ADL’s discriminations committee and attorney in the case, noted that the settlement marks the second successful conclusion this year of ADL actions instituted around the country to stop Arab-inspired, anti-Jewish discrimination in employment.

The first reached in January, settled ADL’s complaint against International Schools Services, Inc., a Princeton, N.J.-based worldwide teacher recruiting agency. The ADL had charged ISS with issuing job orders on behalf of the United Arab Emirate State of Dubai which barred employment of any teacher with “a Jewish surname, or who is an American Jew or who has Jewish ancestors.” That conciliation agreement did not involve a monetary consideration.

Reached by the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, it stipulated that ISS “will not deny employment to Jewish Americans” and will “place special emphasis” upon assigning Jews to locations where they are not presently employed.

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