A U.S woman has won a stunning $21m in court after filing a discrimination lawsuit against her previous employers.
Marie Jean Pierre, 60 years of age, alleged in her lawsuit that she was fired from the hotel she used to work at because she missed work on Sundays to go to church.
Pierre worked for a decade as a dishwasher for the Conrad Miami Hotel in Florida until her firing in March 2016.
She was fired by the hotel after missing work for six Sundays to enable her attend church.
A devout Christian and a member of the Bethel Baptist Church in Miami, she argued in her lawsuit that she informed her employer of her religious beliefs before taking the job and should have not been scheduled to work on Sundays.
“I love God. No work on Sunday, because Sunday I honour God,” she said.
Her legal team argued that being fired for not working on Sunday violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which banned all forms of discrimination in the U.S based on race, religion, s£x or national origin.
The Hotel argued that they had made other exemptions for her to accommodate her beliefs but the jury in the case sided with Pierre and awarded her $21m.
She also received $35,000 in back wages and $500,000 for emotional pain and mental anguish.
Pierre is not expected to receive all the money from the suit due to federal law capping punitive damages in civil trials. She’s expected to receive at least $500,000.
The Hotel have announced they would appeal the decision.