Hasidic Jew sues Collier sheriff’s office for discrimination

Author: Associated Press

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) – An employee is suing the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, claiming he faced workplace discrimination as a Hasidic Jew.

Benjamin Newmark filed the lawsuit Monday in federal court in Fort Myers.

Newmark says he was demoted from the sheriff’s office gang unit to a jail technician after he asked for a work schedule that would accommodate his observance of the Jewish Sabbath and some Jewish holidays.

He also asked that he be able to wear a Jewish head covering and not have to shave his beard, as part of his religious observance.

He says he was harassed regularly and a Nazi Iron Cross flag was placed on his cubicle.

A sheriff’s spokeswoman said in an email that the office will defend itself. She said Sheriff Kevin Rambosk has worked with Newmark for several years to accommodate his religious beliefs.

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