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Members who deny Seventh-day Adventists jobs will be terminated - PSOJ president

Published:Monday | April 2, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Howard Mitchell, president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica.

Howard Mitchell, president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), says that action will be taken against member companies if they are found denying Seventh-day Adventists jobs simply because of their faith.

Speaking yesterday on the heels of the latest publication of the United States State Department International Religious Freedom Report, which found that Sabbath-keepers experience difficulty to get or hold on to jobs, Mitchell advised these persons to hire an attorney or take their case to the media.

"It is in breach of our constitution if people are being denied employment on the basis of their religious beliefs. If you are asked if you can work on Saturdays, and you have reasonable suspicion that you didn't get the job because of your religion, you can ask why you didn't get the job," said Mitchell.

"But people can lie. As the PSOJ, if we heard that our members were doing that, we would take steps. We would bring them before the executive and ascertain if that is what they were doing. We would have to terminate their membership because we can't have a member that is in breach of the constitution of Jamaica," he told The Gleaner.

"I suggest that people who believe they are suffering from that disadvantage get an attorney or bring the matter to the media. I don't see how else we are going to stamp out the practice if we don't bring the persons who are practising that discrimination to the public light."

In 2014, the flexi-work law was passed in Parliament and allowed workers to arrange their 40-hour work week with employers to facilitate church attendance.

According to one woman recently interviewed by The Gleaner, "If you cannot work on Saturdays, they do not want to hire you."