A federal jury in Miami set a $21.5 million verdict for a Haitian immigrant in a religious accommodation case who lost her job at a Conrad Hotel because she would not work on Sundays because of religious beliefs.
The Washington Post reports that Marie Jean Pierre informed the hotel when she was hired about a decade ago that she was a missionary for the Soldiers of Christ Church. Most of the time the hotel allowed her to have Sundays off, but in 2015 a kitchen manager started insisting that she work on Sundays.
“Pierre’s attorney, Marc Brumer, said the hotel had an obligation to ‘reasonably accommodate’ their employees’ religious beliefs — and argued they could have easily done so for Pierre. Instead, he said, they charged her with absenteeism and fired her,” writes the Post‘s Amy B. Wang.
However, a cap on punitive damages will limit the payout to about $300,000 if the verdict is upheld. We will keep you posted.