Two northern Iowa women were fired from their jobs at a New Hampton assembly plant for allegedly joking about “burning the Jews” inside a toy oven they were carrying.
Christina Ott of New Hampton and her sister, Susan Ott of Lawler, were fired in late January from the Trimark Corp. assembly plant in New Hampton.
According to plant officials’ testimony at two public unemployment claims hearings, five Trimark workers reported seeing the two walk through an area of the plant Dec. 19, carrying a toy Easy Bake oven with gingerbread men inside.
One of the workers said the women told their colleagues, “Happy Hanukkah. We’re burning the Jews.” The other workers were some distance away and said they didn’t hear any such comments by the women.
After the two were fired, they applied for unemployment benefits and the state scheduled separate public hearings to deal with each claim. Both women testified that they didn’t make the comment, and said the only reason they were carrying the toy oven around was so they could participate in a Christmas sweater contest at the plant.
“We did not have a Christmas sweater, so we decided to give out gingerbread men instead,” Susan Ott testified.