Jewish woman who asked to end workweek early for Sabbath says sheriff’s office yanked job offer

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Source: the Dallas Morning News

A woman is suing Dallas County after she says her job offer with the sheriff’s office was rescinded after she told her would-be employers she was an Orthodox Jew and would need to leave work early on Fridays for the Sabbath.

Isabel Balderas filed her suit Wednesday in district court. She’s seeking between $100,000 and $1 million in damages.

“The thing is they didn’t even want to talk to the lady about different options,” said Robert Lee, Balderas’ attorney. “She was willing to do all kinds of things. She said ‘I’ll work extra days, I’m only asking for this little thing.’ They gave her no slack.”

Balderas’ suit alleges she was offered a data management position with the sheriff’s office Resource Development Division around July 10, 2013.

After she was selected for the position, she informed her new employer that she is an Orthodox Jew who observes the Jewish Sabbath. As such, she would need to go home before sundown on Fridays, which would typically require her to leave 30 minutes before the end of her shift during winter months.

In a statement addressing the lawsuit, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department said, “Ms. Balderas did not mention her need for religious accommodation during her preliminary interviews. After she was offered the position, Ms. Balderas requested to be off work during the Jewish Sabbath every Friday evening and Saturday.”

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