Jewish Former Assistant Principal Advances Lawsuit Alleging Hostile Work Environment

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A former assistant principal will have his religious discrimination and hostile work environment lawsuit advanced further in the New York court system, according to a JTA report.

Peter Weiss claimed that his superior at the School for Community Research and Learning in the Bronx, William Mulqueen, repeatedly directed anti-Semitic slurs at Weiss and gave the assistant principal an “unsatisfactory” grade at the end of the 2007-2008 school year, forcing Weiss to take a pay cut and seek employment elsewhere.

Weiss now works as a substitute teacher, and initiated the lawsuit to earn opportunistic costs and emotional damages incurred following his departure from the school in 2008.

According to Weiss, Mulqueen called him a “pork-eating Jew,” mocked Jewish educators’ “mannerisms,” and refused to reward Mulqueen for his overtime work after Weiss grew religiously observant in the 2007-2008 school year, saying the former assistant principal “had more money than God.”

Before Rosh Hashanah one year, Mulqueen also asked Weiss why he needed to “get right with God” when he had “all of the money in the basement,” according to the civil complaint filed by Weiss in the Southern District of New York, the Daily News reported.

Mulqueen departed from the Department of Education in 2010. He has disclaimed responsibility for Weiss’s claims.

Manhattan federal judge Laura Swain allowed Weiss’s lawsuit against the City’s Department of Education to commence a lawsuit, giving Weiss and his lawyer, Harry Weinberg, hope justice will ultimately be served.

“We are hopeful that now that the court has focused the issues, common sense will prevail and the parties can reach an amicable resolution of Peter’s claims,” Weinberg reportedly said.

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