A female lawyer in Britain who was overheard saying ‘I cannot stand Jewish people’ by a Jewish co-worker during an office rant has been told to pay for her anti-Semitism–literally.
Danielle Morris, 34, was subject of a three-and-a-half year investigation in front of two legal tribunals and almost lost her career after she made the remark.
Morris got herself into trouble after she complained a Jewish man had jumped the line at a medical center while she was waiting to take one of her children to see a doctor.
Later she relayed the incident in the presence of a Jewish cashier at her law practice.
After making her comment, the cashier said: “Please do not say that” but Mrs Morris added: “I don’t care, I cannot stand them.”
Three months after the incident in December 2009, the cashier left the law firm — then brought a claim against Morris and the practice.
Yesterday, in a ruling made public for the first time, it emerged Morris has had to pay upwards of $12,000 in costs and fines.
In May 2011 a four-day employment tribunal was held in which Morris and the firm was found to have racially and religiously discriminated against the cashier and she was awarded damages.
But in May last year Morris was then brought before the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority following a further complaint of discrimination by the cashier about the incident.
Initially she denied making the comment about Jewish people but her lawyer Gareth Edwards later admitted it was “unintentionally discriminatory remark which arose from foolishness and ignorance, not wickedness.”
Edwards added: “Because of her age she has had limited direct contact with those who had been familiar with the discovery of the horrors of the holocaust or the attitudes which had led to these events.
“She now has a greater understanding of the offense she had caused and the context in which her remarks could be seen.
“This was not a case where she held extreme views or had intended to cause offense. She has mainstream moderate views.
“Many people including solicitors make remarks in haste they would later regret. This incident happened several years ago and she has had the matter hanging over her for all this time.”
Morris, who now works part time as a conveyancing lawyer at a practice in Oldham, England, told the hearing she had “plenty of time to reflect on what happened” and insisted she had no intention of insulting the cashier.
She said she did not know the cashier was Jewish and had made the remarks “without thinking in a private environment where she thought it would be safe to discuss it.”