For practically a decade, Marie Jean Pierre confirmed as much as work as a dishwasher on the Conrad Lodge in Miami’s posh, high-rise-filled Brickell neighborhood.

The Haitian immigrant mentioned she knowledgeable the resort from the time she was employed, in April 2006, that she couldn’t work on Sundays as a result of she was a missionary for the Troopers of Christ Church.

“I really like God,” Pierre, 60, instructed NBC Miami on Wednesday. “No work on Sunday, as a result of Sunday I honor God.”

For many of that point, the resort revered her non secular beliefs and allowed her to have Sundays off. Nevertheless, that modified in October 2015, after a kitchen supervisor insisted on scheduling her to work on Sundays.

Pierre had her pastor write a letter explaining that it could be a violation of her non secular beliefs to do secular work on the Sabbath – however the supervisor allegedly disregarded it, in line with a duplicate of a grievance Pierre would later file towards the resort chain.

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The association pressured Pierre to ask her co-workers to modify shifts together with her if she needed to take Sundays off. This lasted till March 2016, when Pierre “was terminated for alleged misconduct, negligence and ‘unexcused absences,’ ” the grievance said.

In flip, Pierre filed a grievance with the Equal Employment Alternative Fee, saying the resort had discriminated towards her non secular beliefs.

Finally, she filed a lawsuit towards Park Lodges and Resorts of Tysons, Virginia (previously often known as Hilton Worldwide, which managed the Conrad), saying the resort had violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans employment discrimination on the idea of race, shade, faith, intercourse or nationwide origin.

Pierre’s lawyer, Marc Brumer, mentioned the resort had an obligation to “fairly accommodate” their workers’ non secular beliefs – and argued that they might have simply accomplished so for Pierre. As an alternative, he mentioned, they charged her with absenteeism and fired her.

“Cash wasn’t the problem it was driving on,” Brumer instructed The Washington Put up in a cellphone interview. “My argument to the jury was, ‘We have now to ship a message to companies. They don’t have any coronary heart. They’re companies.’ . . . (Park Lodges and Resorts) is a billion-dollar company. 1,000,000 {dollars} would not be proper. I imply, what can be the quantity that will change the world?”

On Monday, a federal jury determined what that quantity can be, awarding Pierre $21.5 million. Of that, $36,000 is supposed to cowl misplaced wages and advantages, whereas $500,000 is for emotional ache and psychological anguish. The remaining $21 million is for punitive damages.

Regardless of the staggering determine, Pierre will obtain at most $300,000 out of the $21 million due to a cap on punitive damages. Nevertheless, Brumer famous that jurors didn’t know there was a cap.

“For them, it wasn’t actually cash. It was attempting to proper the mistaken,” Bruner mentioned. “It is only a nice day for non secular freedoms and safety of staff.”

Attorneys for the resort mentioned they deliberate to attraction, in line with NBC 6 South Florida.

“We had been very dissatisfied by the jury’s verdict and do not imagine that it’s supported by the information of this case or the legislation,” Hilton mentioned in a press release to the information station. “Throughout Ms. Pierre’s 10 years with the resort, a number of concessions had been made to accommodate her private and spiritual commitments.”

(Apart from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)


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