Luxury retailer sued over religious firing

The renowned jewellery brand is alleged to have dismissed a director for her “controversial” religious beliefs.

Tiffany & Co. has come under fire after a former employee alleged she was dismissed for her “controversial” religious beliefs which are actually shared by millions of Catholics the world over.

Kristin Rightnour – who was once the director of marketing for the luxury retailer – says an innocent conversation with one Catholic colleague and one Jewish colleague about Easter plans had been taken out of context.

Rightnour claims the Jewish co-worker asked about Easter mass and, at the Jewish colleague’s request, explained the crucifixion story.

The suit maintains that the Jewish colleague did not express discomfort and actually encouraged Rightnour – after hearing the story, Righnour claims the Jewish colleague laughed and said; ‘They didn't teach us any of this in Hebrew school!’

However, a co-worker complained, alleging that Rightnour had stated “the Jewish people killed Jesus.”

Eventually, the 35-year-old was reprimanded and put on one-year probation, “based on Defendant's perception that as a practicing Catholic, Plaintiff held the belief that ‘Jewish people killed Jesus,’ as well as Plaintiff’s acknowledgment that many Catholics did indeed believe as much,” the suit charges.

The 35-year-old complained about the punishment and claims she was later the subject of retaliation by means of a negative performance review before she was eventually fired.

“What you have here is an employer engaging in a systematic, yet brutally transparent, scheme to punish an accomplished management-level employee for raising a good faith complaint — that she was treated disparately because of her religion," lawyer Alexander Coleman said in a statement.

More like this:

Eight-week notice upheld for long-tenure employee 

France pushes through Bill to ban emails

Employee hits out over painful training session


Recent articles & video

Budget 2024: Public service to lose 5,000 workers

School board terminates 2 workers for theft, misappropriated funds

Ottawa launches Canadian Internal Trade Data Hub

Why is sleep so important for employees?

Most Read Articles

Saskatchewan looks to protect newcomers with new legislation

What does an employer have to report after a workplace harassment investigation?

Network for neurodivergent workers embraced by Canada’s public service