|Gingerbread men in oven illustration|
Two employees were fired after telling colleagues they are burning Jews in the oven, according to a statement released by the company in Iowa.
Two Northern Iowa women were fired from their jobs at an assembly plant in New Hampton for allegedly joking about "the burning of the Jews" in a toy oven.
Christina Ott of New Hampton and her sister, Susan Ott of Lawler, were fired from Trimark Corp., an assembly plant in New Hampton.
According to testimony by plant officials at two unemployment claims hearings, Trimark’s five workers said they saw the two walk through an area carrying a toy Easy Bake oven with the gingerbread men inside.
One worker said the women told their colleagues, "Happy Hanukkah. We're burning the Jews." Other workers stood at a distance and they said they did not hear these comments from the women.
After the two were fired, they filed for unemployment benefits. During separate state public hearings, both women testified that they made no comment and said the only reason they were carrying the toy oven around was so that they could participate in a contest.
The administrative law judge in the case of Susan Ott, Terence Nice, said that she does not buy her explanation and ruled Ott had committed misconduct and was not entitled to benefits.
In the case of Christina Ott, Susan Ackerman, administrative law judge rejected the request for unemployment benefits for similar reasons.
“I am extremely happy with the judges’ decisions. Taxpayers should not have to pick up the tab when hateful people are fired from their jobs because they cannot keep their mouth shut and crack anti-Semitic jokes,” Joseph Hall, 55, of Des Moines, Iowa told YourJewishNews.com after learning about the Ott sisters.
"Just the act of carrying an oven out there with a few people in it while saying, 'Happy Hanukkah,' is offensive, let alone if she actually said the hate speech as well," Ackerman said.