Marie Jean Pierre, a devout Christian who refused to work on Sundays, was fired from her job as a hotel dishwasher in 2016. This week, the Florida woman was awarded $21 million after suing her former employer citing religious discrimination.
“I love God,” she told NBC 6 Miami. “No work on Sunday, because Sunday I honor God.”
Pierre worked as a dishwasher for The Conrad Hotel from 2006-2016, the Miami-Herald reports. Her employers were aware of her involvement with the Soldiers of Christ Church that prevented her from working Sundays. Still, in 2015, bosses scheduled her to work Sundays anyway.
After weeks of trading shifts with co-workers, Pierre’s employer demanded she come in for her scheduled shift. When she refused for six weeks straight, she was fired.
Pierre then filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, suing The Conrad claiming the “Defendant retaliated against Plaintiff by, among other things, creating a hostile work environment for Plaintiff, reprimanding Plaintiff for her religious beliefs, and terminating Plaintiff.”
A federal jury has now ordered the hotel to pay Pierre $36,000 for lost wages, $500,000 for emotional anguish and $21 million in punitive damages. Hear Pierre’s take on the matter below.
What's Your Reaction?
Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.