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New York City Settles Religious Discrimination Case

The City of New City recently settled a religious discrimination claim against a New York City hospital after it withdrew a job offer because the applicant was unable to work on the Sabbath.

Alisa Dolinsky, the plaintiff, is an Orthodox Jewish nurse who was unable to work from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday due to her religious beliefs. This incident occurred in 2007 and Ms. Dolinsky brought her claim before the New York City Human Rights Commission and it was ultimately settled for $40,000.

This case raises an interesting question as to the burdens on the plaintiff in establishing discrimination in the context of a failure to hire situation. Most employment discrimination cases are brought by employees who are presently with the company or those who have been fired. It is a much less frequent claim when someone has never been employed by a particular company or organization.

The Wall Street Journal article reporting this is available here.

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