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Jewish organization sued for religious discrimination

NEW YORK (JTA) – A Jewish former employee is suing the non-profit Jewish organization Na’amat for religious discrimination.

Marshall Garvin, 65, in his lawsuit filed Monday in Bronx Civil Court in New York claimed that his boss at Na’amat did not let him leave the New York office early on Jan. 22, 2010, and prevented him from leaving altogether 15 times, to say mourning prayers for his recently deceased mother.

The boss, Susan Schwartz, reportedly called up synagogues in Riverdale, the section of the Bronx where Garvin lives, to find out when they hold services and if it was necessary for him to leave early.

On May 12, 2011, Garvin, who is Orthodox, filed an informal complaint about the incident to Elizabeth Raider, president of Na’amat, alleging discrimination and a hostile work environment. He was fired from his job in the mail room the same day.

Schwartz, according to the filing, told Garvin that he was laid off due to downsizing.

It is the third lawsuit that Garvin has filed for religious discrimination against an employer. The first two were against the U.S. Postal Service, where Garvin worked for 35 years. He won both and returned to work.

Na’amat, a Jewish organization supporting women, children and families, directed calls regarding the lawsuit to its lawyer, Danielle Dandrige, who could not be reached for comment. 

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