Oy vey! Jewish group's boss told 'mensch' Marshall Garvin where to pray, lawsuit says
Marshall Garvin says he was fired for leaving work to go to synagogue after mother died
Kevin Deutsch • NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
A 65-year-old “mensch” who worked for a major Jewish women’s group says his supervisor harassed him for leaving work to pray when his mom died — and fired him when he kvetched to the boss.
Marshall Garvin, a religious Jew from Riverdale, the Bronx, says he was canned an hour after he complained to Na’amat USA President Elizabeth Raider about supervisor Susan Schwartz.
He filed a religious discrimination lawsuit against the organization and Schwartz in the Bronx Tuesday, saying she “dictated” to him which nearby synagogues he could attend to say Kaddish — the traditional mourner’s prayer.
“No person of any religion should have to go through this,” Garvin told the Daily News. “It’s unconscionable for a religious Jewish woman to behave this way.”
Garvin said his religious duties required him to pray three times a day after his mother, Clara, died of cancer in January.
But instead of showing compassion, Schwartz phoned several local synagogues and told Garvin which ones he could attend, the suit alleges.
She harassed him for daily reports on his whereabouts, kept him from attending at least 15 services and had him fired in March, Garvin claims.
Na’amat, a social service organization that helps women in need, denies any discrimination.
“This gentleman was laid off in a reduction of force,” said Robert Schanzer, a lawyer for Na’amat.
Garvin, who worked as a mailman for more than 30 years, won two prior settlements for religious discrimination lawsuits against the U.S. Postal Service, records show.
“He’s a mensch , and he fights discrimination wherever he sees it,”said one of Garvin’s old post office colleagues.