Jewish woman sues Dallas County for pulling job offer over Sabbath observance

(JTA) — An Orthodox Jewish woman has filed a lawsuit against Dallas County for rescinding a job offer after she told them she would need to leave work early on Fridays in order to observe Shabbat.

Isabel Balderas filed the lawsuit Wednesday in district court, the Dallas Morning News reported.

According to the lawsuit, Balderas was offered a data management position with the sheriff’s office’s Resource Development Division in July 2013.

After being informed that she had received the job, she told the sheriff’s office that she would have to be home before sundown on Fridays, meaning she would have to leave work about 30 minutes before the end of the workday during the winter.

Her attorney, Robert Lee, told the newspaper that Balderas offered to work extra days in order to receive the accommodation, but that the sheriff’s office refused.

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department told the newspaper that Balderas did not mention her need for religious accommodation when she interviewed for the position. The department told the newspaper that her request was incompatible with the requirements of the job, saying that the data manager is on call 24/7 and that she would be unavailable during emergencies from Friday night to Saturday night.

The lawsuit claims Dallas County discriminated against her based on her religion, and violated her civil rights. Balderas is seeking between $100,000 and $1 million in damages.