Daily Labor Report®

Jewish Worker Accuses Altice USA of Religious, Other Bias (1)

Dec. 4, 2018, 7:02 PMUpdated: Dec. 4, 2018, 8:54 PM

An Altice USA Inc. sales representative faced harassment and other discrimination because he is an Israeli Jewish man, a new lawsuit charges.

Supervisors penalized Elon Henek for taking time off for Passover and Yom Kippur, he alleges in a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York Dec. 4.

One manager allegedly told him he should have used personal time to cover his absence, and another accused him of having a poor work ethic even though he “regularly finished in the top ten in sales for his entire region” during his more than eight months with CSC Holdings LLC, which does business as Altice USA.

His work was also unfairly criticized, and he was berated by supervisors for objecting to his “anti-Semitic” work environment, Henek says.

Henek had a nervous breakdown about five months into his employment with Altice, he says. His request under the Family and Medical Leave Act for job-protected time off to recover was granted, but human resources refused to backdate its approval to the date he experienced the breakdown, Henek says.

His supervisor terminated him without first drawing the blinds or closing the door to his office so that “everyone in the department” could hear and see that he was being fired, further adding to the humiliation and mistreatment, Henek says.

The suit includes claims under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §1981, the FMLA, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the New York State Human Rights Law.

“At Altice USA, we cultivate a workplace of inclusion and do not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind,” company Head of Communications Lisa Anselmo told Bloomberg Law. “While we don’t comment on pending litigation, we believe these allegations are without merit,” she said in a Dec. 4 email.

Gaines, Novick, Ponzini, Cossu & Venditti LLP represents Henek. No attorney had filed an appearance yet for Altice USA.

The case is Henek v. CSC Holdings, LLC, E.D.N.Y., No. 2:18-cv-06888, complaint filed 12/4/18.

(Updated with additional reporting)

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Dorrian in Washington at pdorrian@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com; Nicholas Datlowe at ndatlowe@bloomberglaw.com

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