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Iowa judge finds oven joke offensive

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Unemployment benefits have been denied to two women fired from their Iowa jobs for offensively joking about burning Jews.

The Des Moines Register reports that Christina Ott and her sister, Susan Ott, were fired in late January from the TriMark Corp. plant in New Hampton.

Plant officials testified at unemployment claims hearings that other workers saw the two carrying a toy Easy Bake oven with gingerbread men inside on Dec. 19. One of the workers says the two wished their colleagues happy Hanukkah and said, "We're burning the Jews."

Susan Ackerman is an administrative law judge who heard Christina Ott's case. Ackerman said carrying an oven around "with little people in it while saying, `Happy Hanukkah,' is offensive, let alone if she said the hate speech along with it."

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