MANHATTAN, NY - BIAS SUIT AGAINST UPSCALE JEWELER

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Manhattan, NY - An Orthodox Jewish photographer slapped upscale jewelry retailer Michael C. Fina with a $2.5 million discrimination lawsuit, claiming company bosses - who are non-observant Jews - mocked her religious observances and kosher diet before canning her without cause.
"You think the Finas give a - - - - about Shabbat?" manager Jacklynn Manning allegedly growled to Sandy Rockind when she tried to leave a photo shoot one Friday to be home by sundown to observe Shabbas. "No one cares about your beliefs. Get it done, and then you can leave!" she said.

Rockind, 35, said that the bosses at Fina "were degrading and they were extremely sarcastic, and they were constantly demeaning my beliefs." They caused her to nearly miss the start of Shabbas a number of times by demanding she finish photographing the retailer's high-priced baubles for ads, she said.

Her lawsuit claims the Finas gave Rockind grief about religious obligations - even after agreeing in writing when they hired her in April to "allow you time off to observe the Jewish holidays" and Sabbaths, if she made up the time. Rockind also said Steven Fina would "wave non-kosher food in my face" at the company's Fifth Avenue offices. And, Rockind said, Fina and his brother Jeffrey "made fun of the diamond dealers that came in that were Orthodox. They made comments about their dress, what they could serve them as far as food goes."
Rockind, of the Upper West Side, was fired Oct. 31 with no explanation about a week after telling bosses she would need to go home earlier on Fridays because of the end of daylight savings time.

Company president George Fina, Steven and Jeffrey's uncle, said, "Basically, as a Jew, I am totally insulted by these false allegations. The company intends to vigorously defend itself against these spurious claims."
Rockind's lawyer, Rosemarie Arnold, said, "The worst discriminators are the ones who are of the same faith, but they don't practice, because they say, 'I'm a Jew and I don't do that, so why does she have to?' "

posted by Shlomah Shamos @ 12/21/2006 07:47:00 AM

Source: VOS IZ NEIAS