A Jewish woman has won £16,000 damages from a car rental firm after it rejected her job application because of her being Shomer Shabbat (whereby her religion prevents her from working on the Sabbath).
Aurelie Fhima sent her CV to Manchester-based Travel Jigsaw and secured an interview. But her application was turned down after revealing she observes Shabbat.
Bosses at Travel Jigsaw sent her a letter after the interview which said: “After careful consideration we cannot offer you a position at this time. We are still looking for people who are flexible enough to work Saturdays.”
Ms Fhima, 23, from Salford, asked the firm to review its decision and, when it refused, launched legal action – claiming indirect discrimination on grounds of religion.
Employment tribunal judges found in her favour – awarding almost £8,000 for loss of earnings, £7,500 for injury to feelings and £1,200 in fees.
Kevin McKenna, head of employment at Kuits Solicitors who were acting on Ms Fhima’s behalf, said: “This case serves as an important reminder to employers of the obligations they have to job applicants – not just their employees.”
“It also shows that many large employers still fail to understand the law surrounding discrimination.”
A spokesman for the business said: “The company is extremely disappointed with the judgement in this case that was brought by an unsuccessful job applicant, and in the way in which the case was presented to the tribunal.”
“Travel Jigsaw employs an extremely diverse workforce with colleagues representing 65 nationalities.”
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