NIH discrimination case settled

The National Institutes of Health has settled a federal discrimination case brought by a Jewish chaplain.

Rabbi Reeve Brenner was terminated from the ministry department of NIH in February after testifying on behalf of a Catholic chaplain, the Rev. Henry Hefferman. Brenner, Hefferman and Eastern Orthodox lay chaplain Edar Rogler all filed for wrongful dismissal.

Hefferman was reinstated when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found him to be the victim of “discriminatory and retaliatory animus,” The Washington Jewish Week reported. Brenner claimed that the spriritual ministry department was anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic under the leadership of the Rev. O. Ray Fitzgerald, who has since been demoted from his position but is still employed by NIH.

Brenner’s settlement became effective July 10. Brenner, who is no longer employed by NIH, withdrew his complaints to the EEOC and Merit Systems Protection Board as part of the settlement. Further details are not available due to a confidentiality agreement.

A group of U.S. congressmen have asked the Health and Human Services secretary to order an investigation into misconduct at the spiritual ministry department.

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