Jewish woman sues Texas county for pulling job offer over Sabbath observance


(JTA) — An Orthodox Jewish woman has sued Dallas County for allegedly rescinding a job offer over her Shabbat observance.

Isabel Balderas filed her lawsuit Wednesday in district court, the Dallas Morning News reported, and is seeking $100,000 to $1 million in damages.

Balderas said she told the sheriff’s office that because of her observance, she would need to leave work early Fridays in order to observe the Jewish Sabbath. The lawsuit claims Dallas County discriminated against her based on her religion and violated her civil rights.

According to the suit, Balderas was offered a data management position with the sheriff’s office’s Resource Development Division in July 2013.

After being informed that she had received the job, Balderas said she told the sheriff’s office that she would have to be home before sundown Fridays, meaning she would need to leave work about 30 minutes before the workday ended during the winter.

Her attorney, Robert Lee, told the newspaper that Balderas offered to work extra days in order to receive the accommodation, but the sheriff’s office refused.

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department told the newspaper that Balderas did not mention her need for religious accommodation when she interviewed for the position and that her request was incompatible with the job requirements, as the data manager is on call 24/7 and she would be unavailable during emergencies from Friday night to Saturday night.

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