Jewish Woman Harassed by Boss for Being Jewish, Eating Banana, Lawsuit Claims

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Keeping the faith, losing a job?
A Broward woman says that her former employer, American Medical Central, gave her flak for being Jewish -- going so far as to reprimand her for eating a banana at work -- a recently filed lawsuit claims.

That woman, Sheryl Ackerman, was employed as a social worker at the North Shore Medical Center/FMC Campus, starting in June 2006. The hospital insists that Ackerman did not suffer from discrimination.

"The hospital adamantly denies the allegations and will defend itself," a hospital spokesman told the Pulp.

She was the only Jewish staffer in her unit, according to a Broward County Civil Court document.

In January 2007, a woman by the name of Gayle Griffin became Ackerman's supervisor.

"Prior to that time, Ackerman had no issues or problems with her employment. But after Griffin became Ackerman's supervisor, and up through the unlawful termination of Akcerman's employment, Griffin treated Ackerman more harshly than other non-Jewish employees," court documents note.

Griffin disciplined Ackerman because "Ackerman had eaten a banana on the unit floor. Other non-Jewish employees were not disciplined for similar incidents," court documents claim.

Esther Morris, director of human resources, wound up removing the reprimand from Ackerman's file -- suggesting that the complaint was bogus to begin with, Ackerman claims.

Also, in November 2007, Griffin drafted a new policy for handling violent patients. When Ackerman followed that policy, she was suspended. When two other non-Jewish employees followed the policy, they were not disciplined in any way, Ackerman claims. 

Morris found out about the suspension and told Ackerman that she was not, in fact, suspended or on any type of disciplinary "probation." Griffin, however, told her otherwise.

Ackerman's work environment continued to sour, court docs claim, as she was routinely under more scrutiny than non-Jewish employees.

The coup de grace came in August 2008.

At that time, Griffin held a department meeting. She was "mad about something and warned everybody that the staff 'had not seen her other side,' and that her 'RN' designation -- actually for registered nurse -- stood for 'redneck.'"

Shortly after, Griffin is said to have approached Ackerman in the hallway. Griffin allegedly apologized -- for nothing in particular -- and claimed to have not known that Ackerman is Jewish. Griffin said she "found it 'fascinating'" that Ackerman is Jewish, court documents note.

Until Griffin fired Ackerman in January 2010, she claims that the discrimination continued to worsen.

She was given clerical work. She was slammed for taking holidays when doing so wasn't against company policy. She was also moved to an office far from other employees. When she tried to uphold her duties as a supervisor, Griffin called her "bossy," she claims.

Ackerman is suing the California-based corporation, and is demanding a jury trial for back pay and damages.


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6 comments
SDS, MD
SDS, MD

Was this person hired prior to routine drug testing? Or did they not test for ant-psychotic drugs? She probably only made it to age 50 (a guess by her looks)--due to living at home, as she was unable to get her own housing due to her previous sex offenses. When her parents passed, they revealed a family secret that she was not really Jewish, but Muslim. That had to be what pushed her over the edge; but not far enough!!

SDS, MD
SDS, MD

Not only did she take one of the patient's bananas, but peeled it and went on to lick it, insert it in her mouth (down her "deep throat") in an inappropriate sexually teasing way in front of an audience of very interested men on a psychiatric unit. This resulted in an empty therapy group and a line at the washing machine. Talk about unfair!!

Jbloom2345
Jbloom2345

What an idiot Ackerman is - what she describes is a process of progressive discipline, it appears she didn't listen at the first level. Whine whine - they won't let me eat a banana because I'm whatever - join the what kind of excuse can I dig up not to take responsibility for my own incompetent behavior.

glass slipper
glass slipper

Maybe Ackerman was just an incompetent boob and is grasping for straws?

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