Dismissed NJ Ben & Jerry’s employee sues over religious discrimination

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A Jew fired in 2019 by Unilever’s North American headquarters at Englewood Cliffs is suing for religious discrimination.

David Rosenbaum filed a lawsuit in Superior Court last week, claiming that Ben and Jerry’s parent company was behind “outrageous acts of retaliation and anti-Semitism.”

“Unilever strongly refutes these allegations and maintains a zero tolerance policy towards anti-Semitism or any form of discrimination in the workplace,” the company said in a written statement to New Jersey 101.5.

Allegations of anti-Semitism

Rosenbaum, 55, said in her lawsuit her boss rejected a request to use personal time off for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in 2019.

That year Rosh Hashanah began on the evening of Sunday, September 29, 2019 and ended on the evening of Tuesday, October 1. Yom Kippur began on the evening of Tuesday October 8 and ended on the evening of Wednesday October 1. 9.

Rosenbaum did not show up for work on Rosh Hashanah Monday or Tuesday and emailed at least five senior executives on Monday, claiming the “denial of leave for Jewish holy days” was a “direct violation.” of the law.

A day later he received a text to call one of the managers who received his email and Rosenbaum said he was fired over the phone.

Rosenbaum had worked as a director at Unilever for over three years.

Israel ‘boycott’ connection

The lawsuit also highlights the recent controversial decision by glaciers to stop selling products in certain territories at the center of Israeli-Palestinian tensions.

In July, Ben and Jerry’s said it would stop selling ice cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territories because it was “inconsistent with our values ​​that our product is present under an internationally recognized illegal occupation.”

The announcement prompted New Jersey to consider ceding $ 182 million of Unilever’s pension funds.

In September, the state said the company’s actions qualified as a boycott of Israel, in violation of a 2016 state law.

Rosenbaum’s lawsuit said the company’s decision was “further evidence of Unilever’s anti-Semitism.”

He also says that the male manager who initially rejected his request for a power take-off for the Jewish holidays had previously sexually harassed him, which senior management did nothing against.

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