Court Rejects Jewish Postal Worker’s Suit over Work Schedule

(Wednesday, October 17th, 2007)

postal veh.jpgA Jewish postal worker made to work on Sabbath because of staff cutbacks lost an appeal claiming his work schedule violated his civil rights.

Mail carrier Martin Tepper joined the post office in Chagrin Falls, about 20 miles southeast of Cleveland, in 1980 and became a Messianic Jew a few years later.

For ten years he was excused from working Saturdays, but the letter carriers’ union voted to rescind that accommodation amid pressure from fellow postal workers upset at having to work more weekend shifts because of staff reductions.

Tepper sued the U.S. Postal Service in federal court in Cleveland. He lost and a subsequent appeal to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was denied, with the appeals court ruling Tepper could not prove he was discriminated against or that the post office failed to accommodate his beliefs.

“The removal of the accommodation did not result in a change of title, job status, pay or job responsibilities and conditions,” a three-judge panel ruled. “While Tepper now has to work on Saturdays, this is simply a requirement of the job for which he was hired; it is not an adverse change in employment.”

The appeals court also rejected Tepper’s claim to a civil rights violation, saying he hadn’t proven he was treated differently in his workplace because of his beliefs.

Tepper could ask the appeals court to reconsider or appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.

(Source: Associated Press)


26 Comments

  1. aziaziamps says:

    “a Messianic Jew”? Does anyone know what/how strictly they observe the laws of Saturday? Maybe his co-workers got tired of seeing him shopping at Target in his weekend cloths and hearing about the work he got done in his back yard on Saturday.

    also, he joined in 1980, became a yushke-yid a few years later, maybe 1985, and had this deal for 10 years, so now ten years after that, why is this news?

  2. homeboy1 says:

    “Mail carrier Martin Tepper joined the post office in Chagrin Falls, about 20 miles southeast of Cleveland, in 1980 and became a Messianic Jew a few years later.”
    Why is news about a messianic jew worthy of being carried on Yeshiva World. By posting this article on your website, you are implying ligitimacy to the group.

  3. Ploni Almony says:

    Much to his “Chagrin” his case “Falls” !

  4. joe9487cool says:

    he’s a messianic jew? that’s usually code for Jews for “J.” Is he a yid who went off the derech or was he never Jewish?

  5. Oncefrum says:

    The hypocrisy here is stinging. If he would be a “frum yid” then there would be all kinds of support and calls for further litigation and accusations of anti-semitism. why can’t people see the bottom line? He is KEEPING SHABBES. Isn’t that noble enough for your support?

    Of course this does’nt mean that I think he is right, and that he should be allowed to have shabbes off. It’s just the duplicity of the users here that irks me.

  6. Think Straight says:

    Homeboy: This case has implications for any Orthodox Jew in a similar predicament. DUH.

  7. truth4ruth says:

    “Religious Discrimination”, by law, does not require your religion to forbid melachah for you to take the day off. Just like if we wanted to take off on Purim as a religious day, no employer can deny the day off b/c of religious discrimination. In this case, because it was part of his responsibilities to work on Shabbos when he was hired, his case was rejected. It’s important for us frum yidden to understand the law, because had he been a frum Yid, or a BT, he would have had the same psak by the courts and either forced to work on Shabbos or get fired. Thank you YW for the info.

  8. baki says:

    Who and what this person is makes no difference. This is a ruling that can have serious implications for thousands of observant jews across America.

  9. Oncefrum says:

    Would it be different if he was orthodox jew?

  10. mdlevine says:

    post #2. the reason it is worthy of YW is that the courts ruled against forcing someone to work on Saturdays violates civil rights. am I missing something here?

    Post #3 – you have my nomination for best post of the day.

  11. StillHere says:

    I think a messianic jew is just a regular jew that believes that the messiah is coming imminently.

  12. StillHere says:

    Anyways, what difference does it make what he believes, the ruling could have repercussions on our beliefs.Although i still think that he believes in the messiahs imminent arrival.

  13. justajew says:

    homeboy1 -
    The news in the article has clear implications for Jews and all Sabbath observers.

  14. NormaDemby says:

    StillHere–Messianic Jew is a known term for Jews for J.

    Oncefrum–you have a point. A Jew for J, R”L, is still observing his religion, so it seems like he should be accomodated.

    I think what irks people is the bandwagon approach to grabbing accomodations as a way to give legitimacy to one’s religious beliefs, even if the accomodation is not necessary. Why do Muslims and Christians need to have alternate side parking suspended for their holidays? They do not refrain from melacha and they do drive on these holidays. They somehow feel that if the Jews have it, so should they. Maybe they should have different accomodations reflecting the different way in which they observe their holidays.

  15. Sarah says:

    Oncefrum,

    Although my answer may not be sufficient, let me try to explain. Messianic Jews are extremely active in winning over Jewish converts to their beliefs in J as the Lord and Messiah. Their activities represent the most intense deception in the Christian world, including synagogues complete with Torah scrolls, talleisim, etc coupled with utterly Christian theology, as they attempt to assure unaffiliated Jews that Messianic Judaism is the True Judaism, and the ultimate way of being a Jew. In fact, they are Christians who have discovered a new method for bringing Jews to the cross. They actively prey on the immigrant, the Jewishly unaware, the confused and the vulnerable, with billions of dollars funding their efforts. There are many Jews who work long and difficult days attempting to counteract this well funded movement.

    (This movement attempts to differentiate themselves from Jews for J by stressing their Jewish ritual and synagogues, but in essence and purpose, they are the same, with differing methodology.)

    Now to the point. When Jews hear of an incident involving a Messianic Jew, there is an instantaneous feeling of revulsion against one who is a member of this despicable group. Of course, this individual may be an innocent victim of deceit. Or, he may be a Christian Messianic “Jew” who dedicates his life to deceiving and converting our brethren.

    To StillHere: I assume that was humor?

  16. mormat says:

    It’s another term for Chabadtzkers.

  17. StillHere says:

    OnceFrum: YOU irk me.What is so noble about keeping shabbOs if one is not obligated to keep the shabbos(messianic jew is NOT jewish, it is actually a brak off from the Chr-st for Latter Day Saints)never mind- Goy sheshovas, chayev misah.It is your open hostility for all of the observant jews reading and commenting on this blog that irks me. Your user name alone is a snare , full of hypocrosy and negetivity towards “Still Frum” jews all over .This is an open blog and all are welcome as far as i am concerned ,but if the only way for you to reassure your complex, and your state of not being frum anymore is to scorn those that are frum, you should reconsider your current situation., Maybe try being frum once more.

  18. Levi613 says:

    still here. You really think so: doesn’t EVERY erliche yid believe be’emunah shlemah dat Moshiach can come any moment??!! Whenever a “mess. Jew” is mentioned, it’s (normally) always in reference to those “Jews” (majority is even NOT Jewish, as #4 already wrote.
    And #8, you’re right, in the end it might not matter at all, wether this person is Jewish in our “halachic” eyes, but I felt just amazed and suprised that YW called him a (mess) Jew…

  19. Flatbush Bubby says:

    This is very serious. This case could have severe repurcussions for many frum federal employees in New York City, Baltimore, Miami, Los Angeles, etc., etc.

  20. musicoutlet says:

    Now I know who delivered the Junk cd’s to the entire Brooklyn and Lakewood jewish communities last year.

    We finally solved the puzzle!!

  21. Oncefrum says:

    # 15 – You are probably right about the deceptive roles of the Jews for J in that they recruit people to their religion – whatever it may be. But, thinking objectively, I see frum jews who do kiruv in the exact same way. Trying to recruit otherwise uninterested people to ‘their’ religion.

  22. Baal Boose says:

    Once frum,
    While I certainly have a hashkofeh different than yours, I must say that I for one do not agree with the way you are being answered.
    That being said I will still disagree with you, as follows.
    A) The difference between Kiruv and Jews for Yoshke, is that we try to impress our “target” with the beauty we see in yidishkiet. We will never recruit goyim (Which they have a need to do towards yidden, in order to validate themselves. They have a difficulty in that we, with full consciousness did not accept their Human Deity) nor will we deceive anyone by saying we are really goyim or otherwise con our target.
    Second he is not keeping Shabbos h is keeping the “seventh day”. Call it anything but not Shabbos.
    Third; See #1. How dedicated is he to his Shabbos. Would he, lets see, would he abandon his car so that he doesn’t drive it on Shabbos? Also see #14
    As for comment #17, Some people are just non-thinkers

  23. Sarah says:

    oncefrum,

    I can see why you have this question, but there IS a fundamental difference- Kiruv involves Jews focused on education of Jews (Native Americans are involved as well in trying to draw their fellow NA back to tribal customs and philosophies), whilst Messianism/Jews for J is interested in conversion of Jews to another religion.

    You may not approve of Kiruv in a conceptual way, but I don’t think the two are remotely comparable.

  24. Ploni Almony says:

    mdlevine, Thank You!

  25. Milhouse says:

    Most “Messianic Jews” are NOT JEWS at all. They are Xian goyim. I don’t know whether this individual is Jewish; the name means nothing, in the midwest most people with “Jewish-sounding” names are German goyim. If he is not Jewish, then his “keeping shabbes” is of no value whatsoever, and not something to applaud.

    That said, the issue is the same for us, and as a matter of public policy his case should be supported, because next time it may be a yid. The free exercise of religion is guaranteed for everybody or nobody.

  26. Milhouse says:

    PS: Some people seem to think that J4J is a Jewish organisation of meshumodim who still keep some mitzvos – Jews who “found” Xianity and try to integrate that into their previous Jewish identities. Indeed, that is an image J4J tries to project. But it isn’t at all true. J4J is a fully orthodox Baptist church, founded and run by goyim gemurim who have never been Jewish. It has adopted some Jewish-like practises in order to shlep yidden in, with the intention of getting them into straight Xianity. Its leaders attend the Baptist conventions and are completely accepted there as Xians “min hashurah”. This is something yidden need to know.

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