A 60-year-old dishwasher has been awarded $21.5 million in damages by a US court in a lawsuit against Hilton hotels over continuously scheduling the religious woman to work on Sundays, before ultimately firing her.
But Jean Marie Pierre, in a report published in Daily Mail on Wednesday January 16, won’t be seeing anywhere near that amount of money, because punitive damages, which are meant to teach defendants a lesson rather than being based on actual harm suffered, are capped at $300,000 in federal court where her case went to trial.
‘The jury was not aware of the cap,’ Marc Brumer, Pierre’s Miami-based lawyer, said. ‘They thought that they punished Hilton hotel with $21 million [in damages].’
Pierre will likely end up with something much closer to $500,000 when all is said and done, from her 2017 lawsuit against Virginia-based Park Hotels & Resorts (formerly known as Hilton Worldwide) for violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
She was awarded damages by the jury on Tuesday January 15.
‘I love God,’ the Haiti-born, devout Christian missionary said. ‘No, I can’t do Sundays, because Sunday I honor God.’
Pierre had worked at the Hilton property for nearly a decade, according to Brumer, with her religions needs accommodated for much of that time.
But something changed, and after Pierre missed six Sundays she was scheduled to work in order to attend services at the Bethel Baptist Church in northeastern Miami-Dade County, she was let go from the company in March of 2016, NBC6 reported.
‘They accommodated her for seven years, and they easily could’ve accommodated her, but instead of doing that, they set her up for absenteeism and threw her out,’ Brumer said.
‘She’s a soldier of Christ. She was doing this for all the other people, all the other workers who are being discriminated against.’
When Pierre took the job at the Miami Conrad in 2006, she said she told management Sundays were off limits for her due to her religious beliefs.
Culled from Daily Mail