A dishwasher at the Conrad Miami hotel in Florida was awarded a $21.5 million settlement by a jury after they found that her employer violated her religious rights. Marie Jean Pierre claimed that her boss repeatedly scheduled her to work on Sundays, despite the fact that she had explained that she was a missionary at Soldiers of Christ Church and working on Sundays went against her religious beliefs.
Pierre, who worked at the hotel for ten years, said that her employer knew she was unable to work on Sundays and had no issues accommodating her request when she first began working. That all changed in 2015, when a kitchen manager told her that she would have to take shifts on Sundays or risk losing her job.
Pierre said that she was able to swap shifts with other employees, but was eventually fired in 2016 for having too many "unexcused absences."
Pierre will not receive the full sum of the settlement because punitive damages in federal lawsuits are capped at $300,000. Her attorney, Marc Brumer, said that she will receive the $300,000 in punitive damages plus an additional $500,000 for emotional distress and $35,000 in back wages.
Photo: Getty Images