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July 04, 2013

Haredi Man Wins "Landmark" Decision Over British Shabbat Discrimination

Scales_of_justice low resThe 19-year-old former university student left his course in November last year and applied for the benefit. But he was refused the allowance…because his stipulation not to work on Friday afternoons and Saturdays to observe Shabbat was deemed “not reasonable.”

 

The JC reports:

A Charedi man has won a landmark appeal against the Department for Work and Pensions after he was denied jobseeker’s allowance for over six months and told he must work on Shabbat.

A tribunal judge said Jacob Slinger, 19, from Greater Manchester, was wrongly refused the £56.80 [$86]-per-week benefit by the DWP at a hearing of the social entitlement chamber, which adjudicates benefits disputes.

Ordering the government department to back-pay over £1,500 [$2261] of the benefit, tribunal judge David Hewitt called on other Jewish people denied money to come forward.…

Slinger said he and his family had been forced into poverty as a result of the DWP’s continued refusal to grant him the allowance. “My grandmother used every penny of her savings to support me,” he said.

The 19-year-old former university student left his course in November last year and applied for the benefit. But he was refused the allowance…because his stipulation not to work on Friday afternoons and Saturdays to observe Shabbat was deemed “not reasonable”.…

“If people have been turned down for these reasons, they should make an appeal to this tribunal” [, Hewitt said.]…

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IMO - the court made a correct decision.

I agree that he shouldn't have to work on Shabbat but he DOES need to be prepared to work.

Why did he leave his university course? Pressure from his Rebbe?

As regards benefits, there is no problem when a religious Jew says I am not prepared to work a job that pays $2,000 a month if it involves working Saturdays, but I am prepared to work a job that pays $1,500 a month that involves working Sundays or nights because such jobs exist and a non-Jewish worker who would otherwise be stuck on the lower paying job would find himself taking the better paying job that the Jew rejected. The only 'loser' from the Jew's religiosity would be the Jew.

The problem arises when someone makes a condition which in effect makes him unemployable in any job including low status jobs. So for example, a religious Jew who refuses a job which involves working with women or having any contact with women members of the public should probably have his benefit withheld.

Barry, religious Jews today don't want to work Shabbos, and they don't want to take settle for a lower paying job that gives them off on Shabbos.
They want it both ways, and without any quid pro quo for being off Shabbos, such as working extra Sundays.

@WSC

I know WAY too many who have accepted the lesser pay and who work Sunday to accept your blanket statement as fact. The bigger issue for the "rank and file" (as you and I have discussed multiple times and are in complete agreement) is that by the time they realize they don't have the education, skills or training to get anything but lower paying jobs, the are married, have a boatload of kids ...........and are stuck.

"I know WAY too many who have accepted the lesser pay and who work Sunday to accept your blanket statement as fact."

I agree, and I used to be one of them.

I may be wrong, but nowadays an orthodox Jew may have a case to sue an employer who offers him less pay for a Shomer Shabbos deal. Insisting that the Jew makes up the hours by working extra Sundays or secular holidays may not be entirely legal, either.

I don't have all the answers, but I do know that this has caused a lot of friction and resentment where I work. We hired orthodox people who demanded and got a Shomer Shabbos contract, get the same pay as the rest of us, but will not work extra Sundays or secular holidays.

"We hired orthodox people who demanded and got a Shomer Shabbos contract, get the same pay as the rest of us, but will not work extra Sundays or secular holidays."

My boss gives me Shabbat and holidays - I will be out the door by 3 tomorrow. In the winter, by noon.

But I'm at my desk at least as many hours as the other folks - if I hired someone who gamed the system like you describe, they'd be ex-associates in short order.

Demand a contract from a employer?
They were hired and then they demanded a "shomer Shabbat contract" ?
All Orthodox Jews are never willing to work late, work on Sundays and never ever willing to be flexible in trading time for religious accommodations?

That's good to know.a expert on Orthodox Judaism right here among us.

Rather a person who knows all Orthodox Jews and what they.
Knows every single one.

Seems a bit rascist to me.

For my first job, I had maybe 5% left over from my wages after deducting all my living expenses and that was after working every third Saturday at overtime rates. Had I not worked Friday afternoons and Jewish Holidays and refused Saterdays overtime, then my wages would have been 10% less than my living expenses at that time. I could have gone into debt or lowered my living standards, but the consequences of that would have made me miserable and damaged my mental well being which was something I decided I was not prepared to suffer. Many low paid jobs are structured that way in that they are only viable by working Saturdays. Of course I latter moved on to better jobs with regular office hours but many people do not have the skills or education to move beyond low status jobs.

Being an orthodox Jew carried financial consequences like owning a yacht. A keen amateur yachtsman makes financial sacrifices in both income (refusing overtime, so as to be available to train and race weekends) and expenditure (to pay for keeping his boat). An orthodox Jew must expect lower income and higher expenses (like a keen amateur yachtsman) because of keeping kosher, paying for private education and if Hassidic, contributing to your rebbe's Swiss bank account.

You must bear the consequences of the financial decisions you choose to make and not expect others to do so. This kid in England is prepared to take the consequences of being shomer shabbos by earning less or working nights, so he should not be denied benefits. He is to be contrasted with the Aharon Friedman, the congressman's staffer who refused to give his wife a get and demanded she live near him (rather than return to her home town to rebuild her life) so as to allow him to work the Fridays before Saturdays he exercises his visitation rights. Friedman showed that he was not prepared to accept the financial consequences of his own decision to be shomer shabbos (and marry a woman from a distant town).

Jake, the issue you ignore is that many people who claim that they voluntarily accept a live a life of poverty resulting from religious demands will in practice be unable to withstand the mental pressures of being poor.

They then resort to welfare fraud and parasitism of those who do work as is rampant in Hareidi society. This is only human. To point this out is not racist.

Barry, good point. Those of us who are over 50 years old used to be grateful to get Shabbos or Yom Tov off, and we'd take less pay and/or work extra Sundays and secular holidays in order to keep our co-workers from grumbling about that Jew who doesn't have to work Saturdays.

Today's orthodox see it as an entitlement. They want the government to protect their religious observances in the workplace, even if it's gaming the system. Funny how they are so pro-Republican and yet they want the government to step in on their behalf in the private business world. And they are very eager to sue any employer.

Of course, pointing out this sense of selfishness and entitlement by the orthodox makes one a racist in the opinion of the orthodox. No one is ever allowed to criticize them, otherwise they immediately scream anti-semitism.

Yes Jake, in the professional world where I work we each have a negotiated contract. The orthodox who've applied to work here demand a Shomer Shabbos contract and will sue if they aren't accommodated. And they offer no quid pro quo regarding working extra Sundays or secular holidays.
'Reasonable accommodation'? Nobody of any religion wants to work Saturdays. It's the busiest day where I work. And everyone wants weekends off whenever possible.

Remember 'Officer' Beth Glauber?

http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2009/
08/female-hasidic-cop-claims-discrimination-123.html

http://www.vosizneias.com/20843/2008/09/26/ramapo-ny-police-officer-baile-glauber-on-desk-duty-due-to-injury/

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3565662,00.html

How dare these Orthodox Jews get off for Shabbos? This is ridiculous! Everyone knows these people should work till they collapse and die. Better yet, enslave them and then put them in gas chambers.

Good old Jeff has agreed to drop the gas canister and laugh when they all die.

Thanks to the evil witch, the British welfare system has been gutted, and job-seekers can't even afford to feed themselves, let alone launder their clothes for an interview.

you can only live on £56.80 a week if your flat in a canvas tent on the bank of the Thames

"Good old Jeff has agreed to drop the gas canister and laugh when they all die."

I wouldn't kill you, asshole - just sterilize you to prevent you from passing on your defective DNA.

It's hard enough trying to find a job, any job, even with a good education and no religious baggage.

The orthodox have chosen the world's most expensive religion, and one with all kinds of encumbrances to being hired, showing up for work each day, and fitting in at the workplace.

"you can only live on £56.80 a week if your flat in a canvas tent on the bank of the Thames"

- or your 19 years old and still live at home with your parents like this kid.

The European Courts have held that when it comes to freedom of religion there is an expectation of accommodation, compromise and, if necessary, sacrifice in the manifestation of religious belief BY THE EMPLOYEE rather than the employer. So if the employer says that if you want not to work on Saturdays, you must make up on Sunday or take a pay cut, he is being perfectly reasonably and not infringing the employees rights and the employee is expected to accommodate the employer.

For some jobs it is perfectly reasonable for the employer to refuse a religious request and the employee must then consider sacrificing his job. The Turkish military was entitled to sack a fighter pilot who joined a cult because it is the nature of that job that one has to be available at all times for training and action. You can join a cult or you can be a fighter pilot. What you cannot do is be both.

Some Orthodox Jews need to learn that lesson. They are not owed a living by the non-Orthodox who must be wary that the cost of their religious beliefs is borne by them alone.

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