“Stephens’ termination of plaintiff was in retaliation for plaintiff attempting to exercise her right to practice religion,” Edelstein wrote in her complaint. “Upon information and belief, defendant Stephens was angry and upset with plaintiff when he terminated her employment and was acting with malice, hatred, revenge, a spirit of ill will and/or with reckless or callous indifference to the federally protected rights of plaintiff.”
Edelstein is asking the court to declare the county’s vacation policy unlawful; to force the three men to stop giving her negative job references; and to be awarded in excess of $300,000 each for compensatory, punitive and liquidated damages.
Edelstein also claims the county’s policy of allowing Christians to have Christmas Day off without taking a vacation day is discriminatory.
Linda Woeber, an attorney for the judge and prosecutors, said Christmas Day has long been established as a public, paid holiday.
“Edelstein’s Equal Protection claim has been rejected by this court, as well as the Sixth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court, under more than one scenario, also finding that a paid holiday for Christmas is not a violation of the Establishment Clause,” Woeber wrote. “Butler County’s policy …while not adding certain Jewish holidays, is not arbitrary, nor does it deny Edelstein equal protection of the laws.”
Woeber has also argued that Edelstein’s defamation claims aren’t reasonable because the men were stating an opinion, which is protected under the Ohio Constitution.
Edelstein could not be reached for comment.