New York store fires employee who made anti-Semitic comment to Jewish co-worker
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New York store fires employee who made anti-Semitic comment to Jewish co-worker

Worker at health food store dismissed after repeated offenses; harassed woman quits, apparently over management’s initial lackluster response

Orthodox Jewish men walk past a 'Crown Heights Shmira Patrol' security vehicles in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights on February 27, 2019 in New York. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP)
Orthodox Jewish men walk past a 'Crown Heights Shmira Patrol' security vehicles in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights on February 27, 2019 in New York. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP)

A health food store in southeast New York has fired an employee days after he made anti-Semitic comments and actions towards a Jewish colleague.

The worker at Mother Earth’s Storehouse in Ulster, New York, turned the light off in the produce cooler and told an employee named Sarah “you’re in the gas chamber,” then called her a “f**king Jew.”

Sarah’s mother, Jackie Winder Shabanowitz of Kerhonkson, New York, wrote about the March 11 incident in a Facebook post on Friday. She also wrote that “Sarah went to management, they told her not speak about (it), removed her from produce which she has been for a year, and put her on the register. The coworker was forced to apologize but still has his job in produce. On Wednesday, the coworker harassed her again to which she reported to management.”

Two days after the second incident, the store posted an apology on Facebook and said that the employee had been fired, writing: “The Management of our Kingston store would like to apologize to our community for the upset that has occurred. The situation has been handled and the employee is no longer employed by us. We have never, nor will we ever tolerate hate. We were conducting an investigation.”

One comment in response said that “instructing an employee to keep quiet about such a hateful and frightening experience was not intelligent or kind, and it amounts to further intimidation.” It also complained that the store took too long to resolve the issue. The store acknowledged in response to the comment that “management mishandled this.”

Meanwhile, Sarah quit her job, local newspaper the Daily Freeman reported.

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