Marie Jean Pierre, a devout Catholic, told her new boss in 2009 she could not work on Sunday because this was her day of worship. The boss respected her wishes, she said, until management decided to change its protocol in 2015.
Pierre was proud to have her job at Conrad Miami, owned by Virginia-based Park Hotels & Resorts. For a while, she circumvented the scheduled Sunday shifts by switching with others so she could still worship on Sundays. When this no longer worked, she spoke to a lawyer about her troubles in the workplace.
Marie told the lawyer her boss refused to respect her Christian faith, although she repeatedly asked for Sundays off to attend church. Her lawyer then helped her take her boss to court. Marie didn’t know it, but she was about to get some good news!
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Hilton violated this law when they fired her for not working on Sunday as they required.
The U.S. District Court in Miami ruled favorably for the mother of six. Her employers owed her $500,000 for emotional pain. The court also found the hotel owed her back pay of $35,000.
Marc Brumer, Marie’s lawyer, said he asked for $50,000 even though he knew there was a $300,000 cap. He told NBC News, “I didn’t do this for money. I did this to right the wrongs.”
It’s good to know justice prevails.