The following frank, uncensored revelation of how some Jehovah's Witness Employers and Jehovah's Witness Employees were in the habit of treating each other was made by a WatchTower Society Branch official in an annual report which that Branch official assumed would never be read by anyone other than top officials at WatchTower Society world headquarters in Brooklyn, New York:
"... often brothers show unbrotherly attitudes in business and employer/employee relationships. Employed brothers sometimes exploit and rob brothers who employ them; and some employers treat their employees harshly and dishonorably, even without consideration for their need to attend meetings and engage in field service. Some have come to grief and relationships destroyed over business dealings, either through misunderstandings or because of outright dishonesty." -- 1978 Nigeria Branch Annual Report
WILLIAM K. CLINTON v. DR. FRANK BROWN, M.D. was a 2015 North Carolina federal "religious discrimination" lawsuit which we are including in this section -- despite the fact that it is not a true "employment" type lawsuit -- because it certainly contains an excellent "learning opportunity" for Employers, employees, and others dealing with Jehovah's Witnesses. After nothing more than a 45 minute long type of "employment interview" in June 2012, during which Dr. Brown possibly may have been too open and too frank with the potential Jehovah's Witness patient regarding his WatchTower Cult beliefs and practices, Dr. Brown had no further contact with Bill Clinton until Dr. Brown received this lawsuit 30 months later in January 2015.
In June 2012, a Charlotte, North Carolina Jehovah's Witness named William K. Clinton, then age 57, scheduled a pre-operation consultation with Dr. Frank Brown, who was an Orthopedic Surgeon at the Asheville Veterans Administration Medical Center. Bill Clinton explained that he was experiencing recurring pain in a knee that had undergone replacement surgery in 2009 -- apparently performed by some other surgeon -- and also in that hip. William Clinton further explained that he was a "Jehovah's Witness" who would not consent to any necessary blood transfusions under even life-threatening circumstances -- apparently demanding that Dr. Brown perform "bloodless surgery" on him if additional surgery was necessary.
During the single surgery consultation, Dr. Brown claims that he spent 45 minutes attempting to explain to William Clinton, his son Eric W. Clinton, and Clinton's cousin William Ballard, the risks and potential complications of bloodless surgery -- efforts to which Dr. Brown claims that Clinton was "resistant". Bill Clinton apparently suggested the use of a Cell Saver apparatus during the surgery, which saves and re-infuses a patient's own blood. Dr. Brown explained to Clinton that the use of a Cell Saver was merely a possible alternative to a blood transfusion only if there was NO infection in Clinton's knee, and that presence of infection could not be tested for until during the surgery. Dr. Brown claimed that Clinton refused to accept the FACT that a Cell Saver could not be used if there was any infection in Clinton's knee. Dr. Brown advised Clinton to have an MRI on the painful hip, and to return to his office in 2 months. Clinton never returned to Dr. Brown's office.
In his lawsuit, William Clinton accused Dr. Brown of flat-out refusing to perform his surgery. Clinton alleged that Dr. Brown violated his right to "freedom of religion". Clinton further alleged that Dr. Brown "intentionally mistreated him" in June 2012. Clinton argued that as a result, he endured additional pain and suffering in his knee and that he now needs a hip replacement. Bill Clinton sought both compensatory and PUNITIVE damages.
Clinton alleged that Dr. Brown pressed him to consent to the use of blood products in a life-threatening situation. At some point during the consultation, during which Clinton and his family members were pressing Dr. Brown on the "bloodless" issue, Clinton alleges that Dr. Brown disclosed to Clinton's family members that Clinton had a history of illegal drug use, and wondered out loud about the hypocrisy of using illegal drugs while refusing to take a blood transfusion if necessary to save one's life. Clinton claims that Dr. Brown asked Eric Clinton if he wanted his father to die on the operating table. Clinton alleged that Dr. Brown then pressed his son to convince Clinton to "change his religion so [Brown] could perform the operation with blood."
Dr. Brown claimed that he simply challenged Plaintiff's religious beliefs -- stating that many prior Jehovah's Witness patients had consented to the use of blood products in life or death surgical situations after being informed of the risks. Dr. Brown claims that he always has this conversation during pre-operation consultations with Jehovah's Witness patients to make absolutely certain that all risks and alternatives are addressed.
The USDC ultimately summarily DISMISSED Bill Clinton's lawsuit on multiple legal grounds which had nothing to do with Bill Clinton's WatchTower Cult beliefs and practices, including "absolute immunity", but the court did take time to point out that, "Defendant in this case would have had to discriminate against Plaintiff 'because of' his faith, and not 'in spite of' it. ... The circumstances alleged in the Complaint are not sufficiently laid out to propose purposeful discrimination and overcome the Qualified Immunity Doctrine."
Despite losing this and other similar harassment type lawsuits, this is another instance of Jehovah's Witnesses "firing a legal shot across the bow" of anyone who dares to refuse to kowtow to the every whim of the WatchTower Cult. In fact, subsequent to summarizing this court case, we have found this "Directive" issued in July 2014 by the federal Veterans Health Administration regarding treatment of military veterans who are Jehovah's Witnesses wanting the VA to perform surgery on them without using blood transfusions. Note that this "Directive" appears to effectively have been authored by the WatchTower Cult. We suspect that this "Directive" resulted from negotiations between the VA and the WatchTower Cult's Legal Department prior to the filing of this federal lawsuit.
PARENTS BEWARE OF HIRING JEHOVAH'S WITNESS AU PAIRS, NANNIES, & BABYSITTERS
This HuffingtonPost.com Blog brought an issue to mind which we had not thus far addressed -- NonJW Parents hiring Jehovah's Witness Nannies or Babysitters, and thereafter allowing that Jehovah's Witness Nanny or Babysitter to introduce their children to WatchTower Cult books and magazines (particularly the WatchTower Cult's "My Book of Bible Stories" children's book, which contains lessons of death and destruction accompanied by graphic depictions of such), and WatchTower Cult theological concepts (including ANTI-everything), and even allowing the JW Nanny or JW Babysitter to take their children to Kingdom Hall meetings -- where there are no separate rooms nor separate meetings just for children.
We will assume that the vast majority of non-JW Parents who will ever read this WARNING will already be sufficiently intelligent and sufficiently educated to already fully understand how much information that children, even babies, ABSORB from their formative environment and incorporate into their own person.
The Blog's Author, a child of conservative Baptist parents, relates, "then there was my childhood babysitter who secretly took me to Jehovah's Witnesses' meetings, unbeknownst to my parents, ... ." The liberal author seemingly doesn't have a clue exactly how much those clandestine trips to the Kingdom Hall -- where she heard ANTI-THIS and ANTI-THAT (whether she consciously recalls such or not) -- likely played in her later religious wanderings over the decades.
Reading the linked Blog reminded this editor of a related situation I observed many years ago while I attended a Kingdom Hall in a large mid-western city. There, a JW Female worked as a Nanny for a NonJW Couple who were both Medical Doctors. As a concession for the JW Nanny to be able to regularly attend meetings at her local Kingdom Hall, the non-JW Couple allowed JW Nanny to regularly take their two children along with her to the one-hour Tuesday night "Book Study" and the two-hour Thursday night "Theocratic Ministry School and Service Meeting". Attendance at the two Sunday meetings were occasional, but rare. While the JW Nanny brought along schoolbooks and other secular reading material for the two children, to the delight and pleasure of all of us JWs who sat nearby, both children could be observed regularly spending scattered periods of time listening to and absorbing the dispensed WatchTower Cult brainwashing. (Adult readers should attempt to recall as children how attracted they were to any message which ran counter to what they had previously been taught by their parents, schoolteachers, etc.)
Additional considerations include the fact that most JW Nannies and Babysitters will refuse to take your children to your own church's services, unless they can wait somewhere away from the service. Most JW Nannies and Babysitters will refuse to involve themselves in any birthday, holiday, or patriotic activities or celebrations. Jehovah's Witnesses also have their own fair share of FEMALE CHILD MOLESTERS. After all, the WatchTower Cult is known as the "Paedophile's Paradise".
NEW SYSTEM CARPET & BUILDING CARE ET AL v. RUG DOCTOR ET AL was a 1998 Missouri federal diversity decision in which the USDC found that New System's lawsuit against the three named Rug Doctor legal entities lacked "diversity" (entities of different states), remanding New System's lawsuit back to Missouri state court, where it had been filed initially by New System, thus negating Rug Doctor's attempt to move the lawsuit from state court into federal court.
RUG DOCTOR CHEMICAL AND EQUIPMENT COMPANY was founded in 1972, in Clovis, California, as a partnership between Jehovah's Witness relatives Jerry Roger Kent and Willie Dee Kent (former WatchTower Society Circuit Servant/Overseer).The three affiliated corporate entities named as defendants in this lawsuit (see excerpt below) all were related somehow to the Kent Family. Note that the Kent Family sold Rug Doctor in late 2007, although various Kent Family members maintain multiple other business interests which can be located via GOOGLE. (Researchers with intimate knowledge of WatchTower HQ personnel might want to do further research to check to see if this large, highly-profitable, international business ever had other "partners" -- as did other prominent JW-owned businesses.)
The plaintiff corporation was founded as a janitorial firm in St. Louis, Missouri in 1971 -- also by a Jehovah's Witness, named Jon Wayne Questell. It is believed that Jon W. Questell became a large Rug Doctor franchisee, with franchises in parts of seven states, sometime in the 1980s. At some point, the two aforementioned operations were sold or discontinued, with Questell's business operations continuing as a janitorial supply business in St. Louis -- known as New System Janitorial & Maintenance Supplies. Jon Questell and his family members maintain multiple other business interests which can be located by GOOGLE.
Unfortunately, this USDC decision addresses only the issue of "diversity", thus we don't know the main issues raised in Jon Questell's lawsuit. Fortunately, this decision does enlighten readers as to some 1998 ownership and financial specifics of Jerry R. Kent's three corporations: RUG DOCTOR INC., RUG DOCTOR LP (Missouri), and RUG DOCTOR LP (Delaware):
On August 5, 1988 a certificate of Limited Partnership was issued by the Missouri Secretary of State to Rug Doctor, L.P., a Missouri Limited Partnership. ... Rug Doctor, Inc. was listed as the general partner and [GOLDOME FSB] of Buffalo, New York, a stock savings bank, was the limited partner. Rug Doctor, Inc. contributed to the limited partnership substantially all of its assets which, after consideration of liabilities, had a value of $7,440,000. [GOLDOME FSB] was to contribute $4,560,000 cash.
On April 30, 1991 J.R.K. Investments, Inc., a California corporation acquired all of Goldome's interests in Rug Doctor, L.P., a Missouri Limited Partnership and Goldome withdrew from the Limited Partnership. Thereafter, Timothy Wall, an individual, purchased a limited partnership interest from J.R.K. Investments, Inc.
Defendants assert that Rug Doctor, L.P., a Delaware Limited Partnership, is comprised of Rug Doctor, Inc., the general partner, and J.R.K. Investments, Inc. and Timothy Wall as limited partners. ... ... ... ... ...
Much of the administration of the business of defendants is conducted in California. The office and home of many of its executives and directors is in California although the home of the chairman and vice-chairman and the two major directors is in Texas. Many of its records are located there as are its administrative and financial offices. On the other hand, its principal place of production is in Fenton, Missouri where its main manufacturing plant is located.
The principal business activity is from the sale of machines and chemicals. The manufacturing facility in Fenton, Missouri employs 100 to 120 persons. Nearly all of the assembly of machines is done in the Fenton plant, and all orders are taken there, and most of the chemicals are bottled at that plant. Machines and chemicals from the plant are shipped throughout the United States, and in other countries. The Missouri facility contains the engineering department, the purchasing office and the consumer hot line which takes customer complaints and calls from various places in the country. Licensees make payments owed to defendants at this facility. Defendants only have four other employees in addition to those working at the Missouri plant, and these employees reside in Texas. Although there are some smaller facilities existing in other locations the activities of which contribute to defendants' gross income, the primary income comes from the activities that occur in the Fenton, Missouri plant.
CLEANCUT LLC v. RUG DOCTOR LLC and NATURE'S FINEST LLC was a lengthy 2009-15 Utah federal civil lawsuit which was not filed until after the Kent Family sold Rug Doctor, but the events which gave rise to this patent infringement lawsuit occurred while the Kent Family owned and managed the company, plus those events occurred at J. Roger Kent's main Texas administrative offices.
In 2006, Cleancut sent to Rug Doctor a packet of sales materials regarding their patented candlewick trimmer, along with a sample. After having reviewed those materials, Rug Doctor invited Cleancut to make a sales presentation at their main Texas office. One of the owners of Cleancut and a salesman traveled from Utah to Texas, where they met with a Rug Doctor executive named Michelle Johnson. No sale was made at that meeting, nor thereafter. However, in 2008, Cleancut discovered that Rug Doctor subsidiary, NATURE'S FINEST CANDLES, was selling a candlewick trimmer which appeared to be a copy of their patented candlewick trimmer -- allegedly even having the same manufacturing defects. Cleancut quickly issued a legal notice to Rug Doctor to stop selling its brand of patent-infringing trimmers.
Later, at trial, Michelle Johnson testified that "months" after meeting with Cleancut that she had began shopping online with manufacturers in China to purchase candlewick trimmers. Johnson soon found one that met her satisfaction, and she ordered 38,000 units, which arrived in Texas -- still in 2006. When Rug Doctor received Cleancut's Cease-and-Desist Notice in 2008, Michelle Johnson told Cleancut that Rug Doctor would stop selling their trimmers, but only if Cleancut would pay the cost of Rug Doctor's remaining inventory, which was refused. Thereafter, Cleancut filed this federal lawsuit. In 2012, the Utah USDC found that Rug Doctor's patent infringement had been "willful", but awarded Cleancut double-damages of merely $9244.00, plus denied Cleancut their attorneys fees, which must have been astronomical.
RUG DOCTOR v. JAMES PRATE was a 2001 North Carolina civil lawsuit which Rug Doctor filed against Jim Prate, who had been employed by Industrial Clean Management, a division of Rug Doctor, from July 1997 until April 1999. Prate had been required to sign a "Non-Compete Agreement", which prohibited Prate from soliciting for one year any Rug Doctor customer with whom Prate had had contact within his last year of employment. After Prate was terminated by Rug Doctor, Prate formed a similar maintenance company called Contract Management Professionals, which bid on and won a contract with FOOD LION, which had been one of Rug Doctor's customers -- but in a territory which ICM allegedly had never serviced. In August 1999, ICM sought a preliminary injunction to stop Prate from soliciting its customers, but such was denied in December 1999. The NC Court of Appeals did not hear ICM's appeal until 2000 -- after Prate's one-year non-compete clause had expired. Thus, the appeal on the issue of a preliminary injunction was moot. Outcome of the underlying Breach of Contract action for damages is unknown.
ARTHUR R. TOSTI v. PRO-TECTION INC. was a 1984-86 Massachusetts civil lawsuit filed by a Jehovah's Witness Elder named Arthur Tosti against a Massachusetts company owned by Thomas Gilmore, whom given all the circumstances may also have been a fellow Jehovah's Witness. The third party customer involved in this lawsuit also was a Jehovah's Witness.
In March 1983, Art Tosti contacted Pro-Tection Inc. seeking to sell the their franchises on a commission basis. Tosti had ten years experience selling franchises for two other companies in the fabric cleaning business, namely CHEM-DRY and RUG DOCTOR. Thomas Gilmore, president of Pro-Tection agreed that Tosti could sell Pro-Tection's $40,000.00 franchises. Tosti claimed that Gilmore later agreed that Tosti would receive a 10% commission on sales of franchises where leads were provided by Pro-Tection, and a 15% commission on sales of franchises where Tosti found his own customers. Soon thereafter, Tosti contacted Justus Webber, a onetime WatchTower Cult "need-greater" foreign missionary whom Arthur Tosti had known for years, about purchasing a Pro-Tection franchise. "Buddy" Webber, of Seattle, Washington, eventually purchased a franchise for $40,000.00, but Gilmore would not pay Tosti a commission due to Gilmore being the one to close the deal, so Tosti filed this lawsuit. Arthur Tosti was awarded $5000.00 by a Massachusetts trial court in 1985, and that award was affirmed in 1986 by the Massachusetts appellate court.
RODNEY DWAYNE PHELAN v. H.S.C. LOGGING ET AL was a lengthy, drawn out 1982-87 Oregon Worker's Compensation case which resulted when a Jehovah's Witness Elder working for a "worldly" employer did a favor for another Jehovah's Witness Elder, and that favor ended up costing the "worldly" employer five years of litigation.
A Washington state Jehovah's Witness Elder named "Maxwell" was a Supervisor with HSC LOGGING, a Washington state corporation that did the vast majority of its business in Washington, but in July 1982, HSC just so happened to be working a job across the line in Oregon. There, a local Oregon JW Elder named Rodney D. Phelan was between jobs. Despite the fact that Maxwell already knew that his crew's next job would be near Mount St. Helens, he talked his home office supervisor into allowing him to hire Rod Phelan, although the company had a policy of not hiring "temporary" employees. Of course, noone actually knows exactly what Maxwell told his supervisor to get the approval for the hiring of Rod Phelan.
Only six weeks later, Rodney Dwayne Phelan was injured on the job. The details of that injury are not known, but it would be "interesting" to know how much longer work at that Oregon jobsite was going to last. Since normally all of HSC LOGGING's employees were all Washington state residents, HSC LOGGING carried Washington Worker's Compensation insurance coverage for those Washington state resident employees while they worked in the state of Washington and while temporarily working outside Washington. Rodney Phelan's problem was that he was an Oregon resident injured in Oregon, which required Oregon Worker's Compensation insurance coverage, so Rod Phelan was not covered by HSC's Washington state insurance policy.
Rodney Phelan filed his injury claim with the state of Oregon anyway. Oregon's Worker's Compensation Board denied Rodney Phelan's claim after it ruled that under all the circumstances of his employment that Rodney Phelan "legally" was a Washington state employee who was only temporarily working in Oregon. Rod Phelan LOST every administrative appeal available, and then LOST in Oregon's Court of Appeal. Oregon's Supreme Court refused to review the Court of Appeal's decision.
Evidently, this was one instance when a Jehovah's Witness Elder "scratching the back" of another Jehovah's Witness Elder did not work out as they both had planned.
GERALD SULLIVAN v. CONTINENTAL ACCESSORIES, INC. was a 1989-91 Michigan federal employment discrimination civil lawsuit filed by another former employee of Continental Accessories Inc., of Sturgis, Michigan. At the time in question, Continental Accessories Inc. seems to have been a Jehovah's Witness owned and operated business. Limited details available.
When originally hired at Continental, Gerald Sullivan was a Jehovah's Witness who lived in nearby Elkhart, Indiana, which is the heart of the recreational vehicle industry. At the time of his termination in the late 1980s, Gerald Sullivan was a Sales Manager. Sullivan brought this employment discrimination lawsuit after he was "disfellowshipped" in 1986 from the Elkhart Indiana Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses (say hi! to Elder Ralph Moore for us), and terminated soon thereafter. Sullivan alleged that shortly after he was "excommunicated" that both his Jehovah's Witness employees and managers began to have "issues" with him, his work, etc. Once sufficient "issues" were developed and documented, Sullivan was terminated.
We lack details, but apparently, the USDC either dismissed his case or ruled against him after Continetal's owners and managers put together an excellent case for Sullivan having been fired for good reason. We suspect that the reality was that Sullivan's legal team simply did a poor job explaining Sullivan's situation re the "elephant in the room", and addressing Continental's obvious defense.
FYI: It appears that Continental Accessories Inc. went out of business back around 2001 -- probably due to the advancing age or even death of the original Jehovah's Witness founders. However, it also appears that their family and others have been essentially operating a similar business in Sturgis, Michigan, called UNIQUE TRUCK ACCESSORIES.
BOWDISH v. CONTINENTAL ACCESSORIES, INC. was a 1991/2 federal lawsuit filed in Michigan by Dwight Bowdish, a Methodist who worked for a company that was primarily owned and operated by Jehovah's Witnesses. Eugene Lehman, the Chairman of the Board, was a Jehovah's Witness. John Lehman, the company President, was a Jehovah's Witness. Relmond Chamberlain, the chief financial officer, was a Jehovah's Witness. Several other shareholders and upper level managers at Continental were also Jehovah's Witnesses.
Bowdish was employed by Continental Accessories in Michigan from 1983 until November 1987. At that time, in an effort to trim its staff and cut costs, Continental discharged Bowdish from his position as director of purchasing and marketing. Bowdish did not challenge that discharge. Only a few months later, Eugene Lehman offered Bowdish a similar position at Continental's Florida operation, which Bowdish accepted. From the time Bowdish arrived in Florida, he was at odds with the General Manager of that division, Jerry Waltz, who was another Jehovah's Witness. The conflict between Waltz and Bowdish centered around their different views about the chain of command in the Florida division. Waltz conducted himself as if he were Bowdish's supervisor, while Bowdish believed that he reported directly to Eugene Lehman in Michigan. On one occasion, the tension between the two erupted into a shouting match in front of other employees. Following this argument, Waltz issued Bowdish a written warning. Bowdish complained to Lehman about the incident, but Lehman merely urged Bowdish to "try to get along" with Waltz. In December 1988, Bowdish announced that he was planning to take a three-week vacation during the Christmas holiday season, as approved by Lehman. Waltz objected because it would cause Bowdish to miss the division's year-end inventory. On January 5, 1989, Waltz telephoned Bowdish and told him that if he did not return to work immediately, he might lose his job. Bowdish responded that he would not return because he had one more week remaining in his vacation. Upon returning home from his vacation, Bowdish discovered a letter from Waltz terminating his employment with Continental effective January 5, 1989, on grounds of insubordination. Bowdish phoned Lehman about his discharge, and Lehman informed him that he could return to work if he would make amends with Waltz. Bowdish refused.
Bowdish was replaced by James Reynolds, a Jehovah's Witness. Bowdish proceeded to file a federal lawsuit, alleging religious discrimination, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and similar Michigan law, negligence, and breach of express and implied contract. As part of his complaint, Bowdish noted that he was one of several former Continental officers and employees who were not Jehovah's Witnesses and who, after leaving the company's employ, were replaced by members of that religion. Bowdish also alleged that Eugene Lehman had verbally committed to a yearly employment contract with Bowdish, but never followed through with such in writing. Lehman denied such claiming that Bowdish uprooted his family and moved to Florida on the basis of "at-will" employment. The USDC summarily dismissed Bowdish's lawsuit, and the appellate court affirmed.
The district court concluded that Bowdish established a prima facie case of discrimination. However, the district court further held that Continental satisfied their burden of articulating a legitimate reason for the discharge of Bowdish by demonstrating the persistent conflict between Bowdish and Waltz. By articulating a legitimate reason for Bowdish's discharge, the defendants forced Bowdish to prove intentional religious discrimination. Neither court believe that Bowdish's evidence proved such.
In HUBINS v. WAPPAPELLO FOODS, INC. (2003), a Missouri "Baptist" employee successfully sued her supermarket employer in federal court claiming that she had been discriminated against by the Manager, who was a Jehovah's Witness. Although active JWs constitute only about 1/3 of 1% of the general population, 60% of the employees at this JW-managed SAV-A-LOT were Jehovah's Witnesses. Hubrins was hired as a part-time cashier in February, 2000. In September, 2001, Hubrins requested six weeks maternity leave. At that time, the JW Manager told Hubrins that Hubrins' job could not be held open because the store couldn't manage on a reduced staff, nor could a part-time cashier be hired as a temporary employee. Three weeks later, after delivering her baby, Hubrins telephoned the JW Manager only to learn that she had been fired effective the day her leave supposedly started. EEOC's investigation confirmed that Hubrins had indeed been fired on the day her leave began, but it was also discovered that perspective part-time cashiers had been interviewed in August, and that they were told that they were filling a position open due to a permanent part-time employee's maternity leave, and if hired, their hours would be reduced after Hubrins returned. One such person even was hired prior to the start of Hubrins' leave.
Hubrins stated that during her tenure at SAV-A-LOT that the JW Manager regularly permitted the JW employees leaves of 2-3 weeks at a time, so they could "auxiliary pioneer", which is the term for when Jehovah's Witnesses perform door-to-door recruiting on a full-time basis for short periods of time. Hubrins also indicated that the JW Employees regularly tried to "witness" to her at work, and would give her Watchtower publications. Hubrins also stated that after she filed her lawsuit that she began to be harassed by a neighbor who just so happened to be a JW who attended the local Kingdom Hall with Hubrins' former co-workers. Hubrins indicated that she and the neighbor had gotten along prior to the lawsuit, but after such, there had been a series of incidents - one even requiring calling the police.
There is an especially interesting series of JW-related lawsuits which occurred in the 1990s: (1.) In the matter of Betty Johnson, Employee v. Architect of the Capitol, Employing Office, SFEP 92-006, (Feb. 12, 1993) (2.) Betty Jean Johnson v. The Office of the Architect of the Capitol, No. 96-AC-25 (Dec. 3, 1996) (3.) Johnson v. Office of Senate Fair Employment Practices, 35 F. 3d 1566, 1570 (Fed. Cir. 1994).
It seems that a Betty Jean Johnson had been employed since 1971 by the The Office of the Architect of the Capital in the Night Cleaning Division assigned to the Superintendent of the Senate Office Buildings. In September 1991, Johnson applied for the position of "Custodial Worker Assistant Supervisor", but the promotion was given to someone else. Johnson initiated proceedings under the "Government Employee Rights Act", alleging that she was discriminated against on the basis of religion. Specifically, she claimed that she was not selected for the position because she was NOT a Jehovah's Witness. The person who received the promotion was a Jehovah's Witness, and three members of the Superintendent's Office were Jehovah's Witnesses, including Calvin King, a member of the selection panel. After a hearing at which both Johnson and the Architect introduced exhibits and called witnesses, the board determined that Johnson made out a prima facie case of discrimination because she was not a Jehovah's Witness, she was denied a position for which she was qualified, and the individual who was selected for the position was a Jehovah's Witness. However, the board also found that the Architect successfully rebutted Johnson's prima facie case by establishing a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for not selecting her--namely that Johnson was not the best qualified applicant. In addition, the board held that Johnson failed to establish that this proffered reason was a pretext. On appeal, Johnson argued that the Architect's interview process "had a disparate impact in favor of Jehovah's Witnesses" and that the hearing board had not been provided with the panelists' completed evaluation forms before it reached its decision. The committee affirmed the hearing board. Johnson then appealed again - unsuccessfully.
Evidently, there were a significant number of Jehovah's Witnesses employed by The Office of the Architect of the Capital, including Jehovah's Witnesses who held supervisory or management positions. Given the Jehovah's Witnesses blanket anti-government beliefs and practices (no voting; no politics; no holding elective office; no saluting or Pledging the Flag; no standing for the National Anthem; no military service, etc.), there is a certain amount of irony in the fact that a significant number of JWs are employed by the U.S. Government in Washington D.C. This kind of reminds me of the Mormons, who are staunchly anti-gambling, yet many work for the casinos in Las Vegas. Birds of a feather ... .
In a 2002 Texas apartment lease lawsuit, the former tenant defendant gave as her reason for the breaking of her lease the misconduct of the apartment building Manager, who was a female African-American Jehovah's Witness. The former tenant, who was a Hispanic unwed mother, stated that the older female JW Manager constantly snooped into tenant's private affairs, and gossiped with other tenants about such. Additionally, a few days after the 9/11 terrorist attack, the tenant had placed an American Flag in the window of her own apartment. While tenant was at work, the JW Manager entered tenant's apartment without permission and took down tenant's American Flag. The JW Manager's reasoning was that she also lived in one of the apartments in the same building, and JW Manager felt that the tenant's display of patriotism spoke for everyone living in that apartment building. As a Jehovah's Witness, JW Manager stated that while she deplored the terrorist attack, at the same time, she refused to do or say anything which might make it look like she was supporting America, or for that matter, criticizing the terrorists.
WILLIAM BARKER and SUSAN BARKER v. ROBERT JOHNSON and LOUISE JOHNSON was a 1991 California civil lawsuit. Former tenants, the Barker Family, sued their former landlords, the Johnson Family, for allegedly evicting the Barkers from their Hayward, California, rental home for flying the American Flag during the Persian Gulf crisis. The Barkers alleged in their complaint that Robert Johnson had stopped at their rental home in February 1991, and ORDERED the Barker's 18 year-old son, Murray Barker, to remove the American Flag that he had displayed in support of the U.S. troops stationed in the Persian Gulf. Robert Johnson allegedly used as his excuse to give that ORDER -- that the Johnsons were Jehovah's Witnesses, and their religious beliefs prohibited such display of an American Flag on the rental house that they owned. Murray Barker refused to obey Robert Johnson's alleged ORDER. The Barkers alleged that after the flag incident, the Johnsons became very hostile -- despite the two families' previous amicable relationship. Only three months later, in May 1991, the Barkers received an eviction notice. The Barkers moved, but filed this lawsuit. Through their attorney, the Johnsons TYPICALLY denied that the eviction had anything to do with the Barkers refusal to remove their American Flag from the Johnson's rental house. TYPICALLY, the Johnson's attorney stated that her clients were "extremely shocked by the allegation". Outcome unknown
DERUSHA v. DETROIT JEWISH NEWS was a 2005 federal lawsuit involving a Jehovah's Witness named Alfred Derusha, who was initially hired as Associate Publisher in February 2000. Derusha's duties included supervising the directors of the advertising, circulation, and production departments, as well as the editor of STYLE magazine. During his tenure, Derusha hired and supervised Barry Flees, who was eventually terminated due to poor performance. Flees, a Catholic, filed a complaint of religious discrimination with EEOC alleging religious discrimination because he was not Jewish. In a letter, Flees also accused Derusha of retaliation. The News investigated Flees' complaints and concluded they were baseless. Derusha was asked to and eventually signed an affidavit for use by the News in the subsequent EEOC investigation indicating that Flees' claims of religious discrimination were baseless. In his own lawsuit, Derusha claimed that he was pressured to sign the Flees affidavit and that he did not agree with its contents.
Derusha was terminated in November 2001 due to poor performance. Shortly thereafter, Derusha filed an EEOC complaint, in which he alleged religious discrimination and retaliation. EEOC dismissed the charges for lack of evidence. Derusha then filed a lawsuit in federal district court alleging that he was fired because of religious discrimination and retaliation for his role in covering up religious discrimination against Flees. The district court summarily dismissed Derusha's lawsuit, and an appellate court affirmed.
In 1993, former employees of HotTails, a small Colorado manufacturer of hair accessories, accused owner David Chapman of Details Marketing Inc. of firing non-JW employees and replacing them only with Jehovah's Witnesses. The allegation was being investigated by a state agency, but no further details are available.
JONES v. JONES BROTHERS CONSTRUCTION CORP was an Illinois federal case which involved a Jehovah's Witness Supervisor who allegedly discriminated against female employees. Plaintiff worked for defendant without incident from June 1985 until July 1986 on an O'Hara airport renovation project as a laborer-escort. Her laborer duties included breaking out walls with an air-hammer, ditch digging, breaking up material with a sledge-hammer, operating a jackhammer, manipulating the chute of a concrete truck, and shoveling gravel. Plaintiff's escort duties entailed escorting workers and materials suppliers onto and off of the airport job site; the escorts drove a truck and were armed with a two-way radio and a permit which allowed them to escort vehicular traffic on the airport premises. At the time plaintiff was hired there were four laborer-escorts, all of whom were women.
However, in July 1986, Jones Brothers fired the job superintendent and replaced him with Walter Nealey, who turned out to be a Jehovah's Witness. Plaintiff alleged that Nealey believed women were submissive to men and desired to remove women from laborer positions. He hired numerous male laborers, many of whom were also Jehovah's Witnesses, fired three of the six women, and did not hire or make any effort to hire any women. The four women escorts were subjected to derogatory language based on gender both in person and over the truck radio system. The total number of female laborer hours at Jones Brothers dropped while overall laborer hours increased. Plaintiff was eventually terminated due to alleged unacceptable performance, which could not be documented at trial. Thereafter, Plaintiff brought suit against Jones Brothers alleging gender discrimination and religious discrimination. After a six-day bench trial, the district court found in favor of plaintiff on the Title VII gender discrimination claim, but rejected her religious discrimination claims. Jones Brothers appealed, but outcome is not known.
In 1994, a Valdese, North Carolina woman named Drucilla Gallagher, 77, was awarded $30,000.00, after a federal jury found that she was fired from her Burke County Schools job because she was NOT a Jehovah's Witness. Gallagher argued in her religious discrimination suit that she lost her job with the county's after-school day-care program because she was a Baptist. Gallagher contended that her Jehovah's Witness supervisor wanted her out of the way so she could hire another Jehovah's Witness.
BIELERT v. NORTHERN OHIO PROPERTIES was a 1988 federal lawsuit in which David Bielert alleged that he suffered employment discrimination, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, because he was NOT a Jehovah's Witness. NORTHERN OHIO PROPERTIES was engaged in the business of managing residential rental properties, which were located in several different states, and which were owned by several different investor groups. NORTHERN OHIO PROPERTIES was a subsidiary of ZAREMBA CORPORATION, a closely-held corporation owned by Tim Zaremba, Walter Zaremba, and other members of the Zaremba family. (See also: ZEREMBA GROUP and ZEREMBA MANAGEMENT.) The Zaremba family were Jehovah's Witnesses, and many of the investors and employees of the related corporations were believed to be Jehovah's Witnesses.
Bielert had worked for NOP as a property manager since 1971. In 1979, Bielert was diagnosed with cancer. He continued to work for NOP until 1983. His job performance allegedly greatly suffered due to his illness and medical treatments during that period. In 1983, NOP replaced Bielert with a Jehovah's Witness employee. Although Bielert was offered another position, Bielert felt that he was being slowly removed from the picture and would eventually be terminated anyway. Bielert was offered a severance package to resign, and he accepted such. After exhausting his severance package, he filed a religious discrimination charge with the EEOC. Thereafter, he filed this federal lawsuit, which was summarily dismissed by the district court due to insufficient evidence. The appellate court affirmed.
During a 1981 Florida court case, in which a secretary was suing a college president for sexual harassment, one of the secretary's co-workers testified in her behalf. During the cross-exam of that co-worker, the co-worker related that she also had been sexually harassed while employed years earlier at an unidentified Alabama Insurance Agency. She described the owner of that insurance agency as a Jehovah's Witness who carried a Bible in one hand, while he made "passes" at her with the other.
In December 1974, Carabella Enterprises Inc. hired a Jehovah's Witnesss, named Michael J. Paparello Sr., to start managing its already existing federally-subsidized Redstone Gardens Apartments, located in Bristol, Connecticut. From then, until sometime around the end of 1976, of the 31 new families moved in under Paparello, either 16 or 17 were Jehovah's Witnesses. That's 51-55%. Less than 1/2 of 1% of Bristol families were JWs. As a result, federal HUD received 30 complaints from applicants and residents complaining about religious discrimination.
HUD's Equal Opportunity investigators released the [clearly erroneous] results of their investigation in May 1977:
"The evidence shows quite clearly that Jehovah's Witnesses are not given favorable treatment in the processing of applications."
CANADA v. GYULA DOMOTOR was a 2010-12 Canada criminal prosecution and conviction of a JEHOVAH'S WITNESS GYPSY on HUMAN TRAFFICING and ORGANIZED CRIME charges. Gyula Domotor is a Canadian citizen (2004) and businessman who immigrated from Hungary to Hamilton, Ontario, in 1998, along with his older brother and their wives and children. Gyula Domotor and his side of this Gypsy family are Jehovah's Witnesses, while his older brother's side are Presbyterians. In January 2011, the media reported that several members of the Hamilton Jehovah's Witness community showed up at a bail review hearing to show their support for their fellow "persecuted" Jehovah's Witnesses.
In early 2008, Canada loosened its visa requirements for Hungarian citizens, and the Domotors brought even more relatives over from Hungary. The Domotors also began to bring over non-relative males whom they promised a "job" with the family's construction business, called Domotor Construction and Stucco. The Domotors would pay for their new "employees" airfare, and would pick the non-English speakers up at the airport. The Domotors would take possession of their passports, and then take them to their $500-$700,000.00 homes in Ancaster, where the men lived in the secured, locked, and alarmed basements. The Domotors' SLAVES were transported to and from the Domotors' worksites, and the worksites of other contractors to whom the Domotors were selling their labor. The SLAVES were never paid, while existing on minimal quantities of food. Constant threats of bodily harm and death, along with occasional BEATINGS, kept the slaves in line. The Domotors also forced their slaves to file false refugee claims and claims for social assistance, and then the Domotors kept the monthly proceeds. Bank accounts and credit card accounts were set up to make consumer purchases which were never paid. Finally, in December 2009 and January 2010, a series of disclosures and escapes finally alerted Canadian authorities and police to the enslavement of several of the Domotors' captives, whom were found and released. Eventually, police learned of 19 Hungarians whom the Domotors had enslaved.
In October 2010, Canadian prosecutors finally began to make arrests, with more than 21 Domotor family members arrested and eventually prosecuted, and 20 deported. After 18 months in custody, in May 2012, Gyula Domotor, then 34 years-old, agreed to plead "Guilty" to charges of conspiring to commit human trafficking and being part of a criminal organization. Gyula Domotor was sentenced to 90 months in prison, but was granted day parole in April 2013, and was released in November 2013. Gyula Domotor, his Jehovah's Witness Wife, and their two teenage Jehovah's Witness children were last reported to be living in Montreal, Quebec.
VELOSO v. PINNACLE CLEANING & RESTORATION INC was a 2007-08 British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal discrimination case brought by a non-Jehovah's Witness against his former Employer, which was owned by a Jehovah's Witness named Joseph Rourke. Pinnacle's Operations Manager was also a Jehovah's Witness named Steven Page. Veloso claimed that 90% of Pinnacle's then 30 employees were Jehovah's Witnesses, but Pinnacle's witnesses testified that only about half of the employees were JWs. (Some of Pinnacle's employees may have been non-JWs, but relatives of JWs.) Veloso's claims of religious and other types of discrimination were dismissed after a hearing before the Tribunal.
Veloso worked for Pinnacle Cleaning & Restoration for only three months -- from October 2006 until January 2007. Pinnacle provides both water extraction and repair and restoration services for homes and businesses which have suffered flooding. Veloso was hired as a "Lead Flood Technician" due to his certification in water damage restoration. Veloso's first four weeks at Pinnacle was a part-time orientation period. When Veloso began working full-time in the last week of November 2007, it soon became apparent that his work philosophy conflicted with that of Pinnacle's management and employees. Veloso alleged that Pinnacle co-workers attempted to repair items that Veloso thought should be replaced, and replaced items Veloso thought should be repaired. Veloso believed other employees' work to be sloppy or poor-quality, and that they sometimes performed work under unsafe work conditions. At the hearing, Pinnacle's witnesses denied such, and made similar allegations against Veloso and his work.
Interestingly, Veloso, a recovering alcoholic, also complained about beer and liquor being served to Pinnacle's employees by Joe Rourke at what he described as a Christmas Party, at the end of the workday on Friday, December 22, 2006, and a New Year's Party, at the end of the workday on Friday, December 29, 2006.
TILLI PARHOMENKO v. JEHOVAH WITNESSES was a DISMISSED 2011 Canadian case which appears to be a lawsuit filed by an immigrant needing the help of the generally very liberal Canadian legal system which typically bends over backwards to help immigrants. However, in this instance, when someone needing help to properly file a lawsuit in the proper court attempts to sue the almighty, deified WatchTower Society of Canada, the Canadian system spit them out with apparently no assistance or direction at all. Tilli Parhomenko appears to have been attempting to file an employment discrimination lawsuit based on the allegation that she suffered a "reprisal" (probably termination by an employer), because she "refused to join the Jehovah's Witnesses". The HUMAN RIGHTS TRIBUNAL OF ONTARIO dismissed Parhomenko's case without further direction or assistance to the plaintiff.
BRUCE SHEARER v. SIMPLE SIGNMAN was a 1976-1980 Quebec, Canada religious discrimination employment case which was filed by a disfellowshipped Jehovah's Witness and former employee against the Jehovah's Witness corporate owners of this international franchise business.
In 1969, the WatchTower Society relocated two Jehovah's Witness Missionaries and their families, named Len Dunshire and John Dear (and no, we didn't make up that name) from Vancouver, Canada to Quebec. To fund their WatchTower missionary activities Dunshire and Dear founded SIMPLE SIGNMAN, a company which started out manufacturing and installing advertising signs, but grew to distributing magnetic advertising products, decals (manufacture of decals subcontracted to a Canadian company called Decalcorama -- which also may be owned/operated by Jehovah's Witnesses), and other advertising materials. By the mid-1980s, SIMPLE SIGNMAN had 600 franchise distributors in Canada and 300 franchise distributors in the United States -- many of whom are believed to have been fellow Jehovah's Witnesses.
Bruce Shearer and his wife Fran Shearer were both reared in Jehovah's Witness families. In 1976, Bruce Shearer, then age 30, worked part-time at SIMPLE SIGNMAN to support his wife and their two young sons -- five and six years-old -- as the couple continued to PIONEER (full-time proselytizers) for the WatchTower Society. Bruce Shearer considered SIMPLE SIGNMAN's President, Len Dunshire, to be Shearer's closest friend. In 1976, an unidentified Jehovah's Witness Missionary, whom also had been recently relocated by the WatchTower Society, along with his wife, to Quebec, also was employed by SIMPLE SIGNMAN to fund his family's proselytizing activities. Shortly thereafter, that unidentified JW Missionary disappeared. The Shearers claim that the JW Wife of the missing unidentified JW Missionary requested that the Shearers stay with her in her home to comfort her. That unidentified missing JW Missionary was found about a week later. He apparently had driven off into a rural area and committed suicide. The Shearers continued to stay with the grieving JW Widow, but her own JW relatives objected to the Shearers staying in her home for some unknown reason. The Body of Elders at the Shearers own Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, which included Len Dunshire, ordered the Shearers to leave the JW Widow's home. However, apparently, the JW Widow did not want them to leave, so the Shearers ignored the Elders' order. Two JW Elders then went back to the JW Widow's home and again ordered the Shearers to leave, plus threatened to call the police if they refused. The Shearers then left. However, Bruce Shearer was shortly thereafter disfellowshipped from the congregation. The next day, Shearer alleged that he was forced to leave his job at SIMPLE SIGNMAN. Thereafter, Bruce Shearer filed his employment discrimination case with the Quebec Human Rights Commission. Outcome unknown.
MICHAEL AUSTIN v. SAMUEL GRANT was a 2011-12 British employment discrimination case. Michael Austin began working at the Jarrow office of Samuel Grant as a sales executive in September 2010. Austin soon discovered that the Jarrow managing director, Ian Laidlaw, as well as approximately 25% of the Jarrow staff were all Jehovah's Witnesses. Austin alleged that Laidlaw and the other Jehovah's Witnesses tried to ram their religion down Austin’s throat. Austin was regularly lectured about their Watchtower religion, and asked to attend their Kingdom Hall. Austin also discovered that his co-workers were all fanatical soccer fans. When the married father of one disclosed that he was NOT a fan of soccer, Austin's co-workers began constantly making homosexual references to/about Austin. One JW co-worker, Tony Kozlowski, swore at Austin endlessly, and Ian Laidlaw's response to Austin's complaints was for Austin to simply ignore Kozlowski. Not receiving any relief from manager Ian Laidlaw, Austin finally filed a formal complaint in March 2011. Samuel Grant's response was to fire Michael Austin two weeks later.
The case went through proper British employment discrimination channels, and in July 2012, a British tribunal ruled that Austin had suffered "atrocious" bullying by managing director Ian Laidlaw and fellow sales executive Tony Kozlowski. The tribunal found "Samuel Grant" guilty of harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation and religion and victimisation. The panel awarded Austin approximately $80,000.00 US for loss of earnings and personal injury. The tribunal also found that Ian Laidlaw sent "overtly sexist and racist" emails to staff, and ordered that the company’s directors and managers must receive diversity training within six months.
In March 2007, an employment discrimination lawsuit in England received wide coverage by the English news media. That case involved a Jehovah's Witness husband and wife, named Neil and Katrina Davies. The Davies were employed at the same NEXT store, which is a chain of retail stores in England. However, Neil and Katrina Davies were not the victims. Rather, these Jehovah's Witnesses were the victimizers!
Marlene Bielak starting working as a sales assistant for NEXT in October 2003. In August 2004, Bielak was transferred to the St Helens, Merseyside location, where Neil and Katrina Davies were also employed. Bielak claimed that from the outset that the two Jehovah's Witnesses made snide comments about her homosexuality. The Davies, who make no secret of their WatchTower beliefs, questioned her lifestyle and the environment in which Bielak and her partner were raising Bielak's seven-year-old son. Reportedly, Katrina Davies would repeatedly play a song called "All The Lazy Dykes" every time Bielak came into the stockroom. Then, on December 20, 2004, a shouting and shoving match broke out when Bielak accidentally dropped a heavy crate of merchandise on the floor close to where Katrina Davies was working. Davies pushed Bielak, and started shouting and swearing at her. When their Manager tried to intervene, Davies said: "What are you bothered about, she's only a f****** dyke". Bielak lodged a complaint against Davies and went on sick leave. However, NEXT failed to deal with her grievance for 14 months, so Bielak resigned and lodged a claim for unfair dismissal.
In December 2006, an English employment tribunal concluded Bielak had been victimized and sexually discriminated against by Davies, and it ruled that NEXT's delay in dealing with the complaint meant that Bielak had been unfairly dismissed. Bielak sought the equivalent of nearly $250,000 US dollars from NEXT, but the tribunal is not due to rule on the amount of damages until July 2007.
CROWN v. DAVIS was a 2003 British criminal court case. In July 2003, a 51 year-old Jehovah's Witness Carpenter, named Carl Davis, was employed by a children's daycare center to perform some miscellaneous construction [apparently at a new location in an older building]. Davis constructed and installed covers for the building's radiators, a safety gate, and safety hardware for the building's entrance/exit doors. The new daycare center apparently was corporately owned, and typically, Davis was not compensated for his work in a timely fashion. In October, when the radiators probably were first used, the local manager apparently noted some sort of problem with the covers which Davis had installed, and called Davis back to remedy such problem. Reportedly, when Davis showed up, instead of repairing the radiator covers, Davis began removing the previously installed materials -- door hardware, radiator covers, and the safety gate. When it eventually became apparent to the manager what Davis was doing -- cutting off the gate, tearing apart the radiator covers, and disassembling the door hardware -- in the same room as were approximately nine 2-5 year olds, plus staff, the female manager attempted to stop Davis, who then pushed the female manager aside -- causing her to fall against a wall. The manager testified that Davis did such in a fashion as to cause her to be bruised and tear a muscle in her arm. The manager also testified that Davis' behavior was also sufficient to cause the children to become fearful and start crying.
Amusingly, during the trial, Carl Davis testified in his own defense that as a Jehovah's Witness that his religion prevented him from losing his temper, and that he had told the manager that he was reclaiming his materials because he had not been paid. Davis further claimed, "I don't get angry. It does not come out in me. Pulling the radiator covers off is not diplomatic, but the opportunity provided itself to take my materials back." Carl Davis was convicted of assault, fined, and placed on probation for one year.
TINA GUY v. MARK A. SEWELL and CROWN v. MARK ANTHONY SEWELL. In July 2014, in Merthyr Crown Court, a Welsh JEHOVAH'S WITNESS ELDER named Mark A. Sewell, by then age 54, was sentenced to 14 years in prison after being convicted of multiple charges of raping a female fellow Jehovah's Witness and sexually assaulting two children, including a niece, and a female employee -- all back during the 1990s.
Typical of many Jehovah's Witnesses -- particularly "Elders", who are able to take advantage of their fellow Jehovah's Witnesses who seek part-time employment (no benefits and low wages) so that they can also "full-time pioneer" for the WatchTower Society -- Mark Sewell owned and operated a number of different janitorial service and janitorial supply businesses in various locations over the decades (does that sound familiar?).
In the mid-1990s, Mark Sewell hired a 25 year-old female named Tina Guy for his Barry location. Not long after being hired, Sewell began to make inappropriate comments to Tina. Before long, Sewell began trying to get Tina alone with himself. Thereafter, Sewell began attempting to get Tina to sit on his lap, saying, "Give Uncle Mark a kiss." Tina Guy states that because of Sewell's approved status within the local Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses that she assumed that he was a "good person" who was merely playfully joking and kidding around.
Tina Guy testified that one day while she was at work and talking with a male co-worker, Mark Sewell approached her red-faced and furious and demanded that she accompany him to his bank in downtown Barry. There, Sewell left Guy in the car while he went inside the bank. After returning to his car, instead of returning to his business, Mark Sewell drove Tina Guy to an isolated area, where he stopped, locked the car doors, took off his seatbelt and moved closer to Guy -- all while propositioning Guy for sex. Guy declined Sewell's advances and demanded that he return her to their office. After further failed propositioning, Sewell finally gave up and drove Guy back to their office. A few days later, Sewell caught Guy alone in the office kitchen and ground up against her backside.
Tina Guy quit Sewell shortly thereafter and filed a sexual harassment complaint with the British equivalent of the EEOC -- which she won.
In 2004, an Australian Jehovah's Witness (confirmed by multiple sources), named John R. Gilbertson, who was the CEO of the Cheltenham and Regional Cemeteries Trust came under fire for his management decisions and was eventually forced to resign. Rather than summarize this case, I will allow the Australian media to relate what occurred:
"Health Minister Bronwyn Pike yesterday moved to sack the board of a suburban cemetery trust after an estimated $1.5 million was misused on items such as cars and entertainment, dodgy contracts, and illegal cash incentives to private businesses.
"Ms Pike yesterday recommended that the seven-member board of the Cheltenham and Regional Cemeteries Trust be forced to stand down, after a report by the state's financial watchdog linked it to several questionable activities, most of which involved the trust's former chief executive, John Gilbertson.
"Victorian Auditor-General Wayne Cameron's report found Mr Gilbertson used trust funds to buy a $30,000 Mondeo sedan for his wife [Dianne Gilbertson], gave contracts worth more than $500,000 to his two sons [Brett Gilbertson and Mathew Gilbertson], and got the trust to guarantee a $240,000 family loan.
"More than $100,000 was also spent on commissions, entertainment, conferences and overseas travel involving the chief executive and other staff.
"The activities took place over several years, until two trust members told the Department of Human Services last July.
"Ms Pike recommended to the Governor-in-Council that the trust's board of volunteers be disbanded because she had lost confidence the trust could operate appropriately.
"The trust - which runs the Cheltenham Memorial Park cemetery, the Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery, and the Bunurong Memorial Park - will be placed in administration, and police may be called to investigate.
"'If the board didn't know what was going on, they were inept. If they did know, they were derelict,' Ms Pike said yesterday.
"The Auditor-General's report, which was tabled in Parliament yesterday, found Mr Gilbertson was paid a wage of $180,000 a year - well in excess of State Government limits. The report also found :
· The trust spent $40,000 to send nine employees and partners to a Perth conference.
· Mr Gilbertson had entered into an agreement with a private business to become an agent of the trust, and to promote the cemetery in return for 10 per cent commission on grave sales and memorial packages.
· Thousands of dollars in trust assets were sold to staff.
"Mr Gilbert resigned on December 31 last year. He could not be contacted last night, ... ."
TANIA CHRISTENSEN v. MONTESSORI FOUNDATION LTD. is an ongoing 2012-13 New Zealand wrongful termination employment court case filed by a Jehovah's Witness Employee against her fellow Jehovah's Witnesses Employers -- David Hayes and Hayley Hayes. In fact, Tania Christensen, David Hayes, and Hayley Hayes all attend the very same Hamilton, New Zealand Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Montessori Foundation Limited reportedly was one of multiple Pre-Schools owned and operated by David Hayes and Hayley Hayes. Tania Christensen had been employed by the Hayes since 1996 before she was fired in 2012. At the time of her termination, Tania Christensen was the Manager of the Cameron Road, Hamilton location. Christensen alleges that the Hayes used their relationship as "Jehovah's Witnesses" to take advantage of Christensen while she was employed by them, as well as afterwards, when attempting to persuade Christensen to not to pursue legal action against them.
Christensen was suspended by the Hayes in September 2012 after Christensen complained that she was experiencing health problems because the Hayes refused to hire a sufficient number of staff, which in turn resulted in Christensen not receiving any lunch breaks nor vacation days. Christensen's personal physician requested a week of sick leave for Christensen. However, when Christensen returned to work, the Hayes made allegations of misconduct against Christensen, and her employment was terminated in October 2012. Tania Christensen then pursued a claim of wrongful termination against the Hayes with NZ's Employment Relationship Authority. The ERA hearing was scheduled for early October 2013. Ten days before the scheduled hearing, the Hayes changed the name of the involved Pre-School entity to the exact same name of the law firm which was representing Christensen -- apparently demonstrating their WatchTower ingrained disrespect for civil authority. Then, the day prior to the ERA hearing, the involved business entity filed bankruptcy. The ERA awarded Tania Christensen $66,155.00, but the bankruptcy filing may negate that award. Further litigation pending.
IN THE MATTER OF NSUKA SAMBO and VICTOR CHILEKWA was a 2010 Supreme Court of Zambia "contempt of court" proceeding against Zambian Jehovah's Witness Minister and longtime (15+ years) Attorney Nsuka Sambo, of Lusaka, Zambia, and his businessman client, Victor Chilekwa. In January 2010, the Supreme Court of Zambia overturned a trial court ruling which had awarded plaintiff Chilekwa a large sales commission related to the sale of the appellant/defendant's motel. Following that Supreme Court decision, Chilekwa mailed a series of three intimidating and increasingly insulting letters to the Supreme Court of Zambia, in which Chilekwa accused the Chief Justice and other members of being everything from "stupid" to "corrupt", and adamantly "advised" the Zambia Supreme Court that it should reverse its decision in his favor, lest negative consequences occur.
After the Chief Justice received Chilekwa's first letter in January 2010, the Court wrote Jehovah's Witness Attorney Nsuka Sambo and reminded Sambo of his duties as an officer of the court, and directed Sambo to counsel his client. In February 2010, the Supreme Court received two additional letters from Chilekwa, which were increasingly derogatory. In response, the Supreme Court decided to summon Sambo and his client to show cause why they should not be punished for contempt of court.
In March 2010, Sambo and Chilekwa appeared before a panel of three Supreme Court associate justices. Nsuka Sambo admitted telling his client that the Court's decision in the Chilekwa case had been "a stupid judgment by stupid judges". However, Sambo contended that he had not intended to insult the court, but that he merely had been attempting to convince his irate client that the adverse ruling was not going to change. Sambo admitted that he had fueled his client's anger by uttering those words and other insulting remarks against the Court. Sambo then apologized to the Court for failing in his duties as an officer of the court.
Then, Victor Chilekwa addressed the panel of justices. Chilekwa told the court that Sambo's apology was merely "cosmetic", because Sambo had said to him even worse things about the Court than those things to which Sambo had just admitted. Chilekwa told the justices that he had recorded that meeting with Sambo after receiving the Supreme Court's adverse decision, and that he had that recording with him if the justices wanted to hear such, which they declined.
Chilekwa stated that Sambo had told him that the case had been lost because of a multiple relationships between the appellant's attorney and the Chief Justice. Chilekwa stated that he believed Sambo when he told him such, and that he still believed such to be true. Continuing, Chilekwa stated that Sambo had told him that he often discouraged clients from taking matters to court because of "the foolishness of the court in twisting cases to favour their relatives". Chilekwa further told the justices that Sambo had told him that Sambo even had once lost an appointment to the High Court Bench because of being a Jehovah's Witness. Rather than showing any remorse or offering any apology when repeatedly given the chance by the panel of justices, Chilekwa, repeatedly uttered even more insulting remarks to the panel.
The panel found Sambo and Chilekwa each guilty of grave contempt and sentenced them to three years in prison, with one year suspended. The Supreme Court stated that there was need to draw a line between criticism in good faith and outright insults and insolent language. The Court further declared that there were established venues to air concerns and grievances against the judiciary, rather than making wild unsubstantiated statements in attempts to demean, insult, or even intimidate the court. The Supreme Court found that attorney Nsuka Sambo's own contemptuous remarks and conduct had instigated his former client's contemptuous remarks and conduct. The Supreme Court also referred the matter of Sambo's licensure as an attorney to the Law Association of Zambia.
In December 2010, Zambian President Banda pardoned Sambo and Chilekwa, and ordered them released from prison. The status of Sambo's licensure is unknown.
SOUTH AFRICA v. WALTER QUSHEKA. In February 2012, one of South Africa's more prominent black Entrepeneurs and Jehovah's Witness Elder, named Walter Qusheka, age 37, was arrested on charges relating to the alleged murder of one of his employees. Walter Qusheka owns Qush Holdings Group, which in turns owns and operates multiple South African business enterprises, including retail stores, security services, janitorial services, pest control services, gardening services, trucking services, and other unknown businesses. In November 2011, at Qusheka's Empa Shopping Complex near Mthatha, an employee who drove one of Qusheka's trucks into a ditch was allegedly handcuffed on the orders of Walter Qusheka, and then viciously beaten by four of Walter Qusheka's security guards. After the 35 year-old employee became unconscious, he was dragged outside, tied to the security WATCHTOWER, and left to die. In April 2012, Qusheka, failed to show up for a preliminary court proceeding. Walter Qusheka sent a message to the Prosecutor claiming that he was busy having cancer surgery. A warrant was issued. No further info. Suspect that local South African officials will drag this out until public outrage fully subsides, and then a "deal" will be done.
Posted in 2006 on a public discussion board which was discussing "nepotism" -- not "Jehovah's Witnesses":
"So what? Networking & nepotism is a way of life! And guess what so is favoritism, get over yourself. People do business with people they like and often who are like them. I worked briefly at a place where 48 of 63 employees were Jehovah's Witness. You either accept the way they do things or you reject them and move on."
LINDA ALDRIDGE-JOHNSON v. WESTCHESTER COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEATH was a 2007-08 New York case. Limited details. Linda Aldridge-Johnson was employed by the Westchester County Department of Health as a Registration Clerk for only 8 months -- from March 2007 until November 2007 -- when she was terminated for unknown reasons. LAJ was a Pentecostal, and she claimed that almost from the start of her employment that she had problems with a Jehovah's Witness Co-Worker -- who was possibly a Manager. The obvious question that should be asked in every employment discrimination case is how did LAJ learn that that supervisor was a Jehovah's Witness, and how did the JW Co-Worker learn that LAJ was a Pentecostal? LAJ filed a "disparate treatment" complaint, and apparently was fired shortly thereafter, so LAJ tacked on a retaliation claim. The State Division of Human ruled that LAJ had no evidence that she was mistreated because of her religious beliefs, nor that her firing was retaliation for having filed the "disparate treatment" complaint.
In a June 2007 internet chat/discussion, a liberal minded teenager, who was a professing Christian, was talking with like-minded teens about casually discussing religion at work. The teenage employee related that his supervisor is a Jehovah's Witness, and that although the supervisor often came across as a "nut", the teenager tried to remember that he might also come across as a nut to others at times.
However, the teenage employee made a point that is pertinent to the theme here. The teenager related that the Jehovah's Witness Supervisor had the habit of constantly bringing up his WatchTower beliefs and teachings even when the casual conversation had nothing to do with religion. None of the employees care about the Supervisor's JW religion, and they go out of their way to keep from giving the JW Supervisor reason to bring up such, yet as the teenager relates, it is constantly "JW this", and "JW that".
The issue for the employer of this JW Supervisor is -- how long will it be before one of the employees gets their fill of the pestering by the JW Supervisor; says something negative about the Supervisor's JW religion; and then the offended JW Supervisor starts to mistreat that underling because that underling has removed themselves as a potential recruit to the Supervisor's WatchTower religion?
Here is a July 2005 discussion board comment:
... I sit next to a J[ehovah's] W[itness] at work and have known her for the past four years. Nice enough girl, however, her continual comments on ‘the truth’ has lead me to read as much material as possible on this group of people.
I must admit I was specifically looking for material written by converted JW’s as I find the whole “Watchtower” idea a little hard to swallow.
... The young JW who sits next to me had an unfortunate scare late last year. Her mother (also a JW) was admitted to the hospital and quickly transferred to the mental ward because she was trying to kill herself. Coincidence? Perhaps, perhaps not? The mother continues to suffer from severe depression and from what I can gather doesn’t leave the house very often (sleeps a lot). All family members are un-employed with the exception of the girl I work with. She pays the mortgage, rates, and even does the family shopping, cooking and cleaning at the ripe old age of 22. I understand this may not be a direct result of being a JW, however, this can’t be normal can it? The poor girl is drained and constantly scratches her neck and arms – we call it her ‘stress’ rash – and this is ‘the truth’.
Here is a July 2002 discussion board comment:
There's even 2 Jehovah's Witnesses at my work! They tried harder than the Christians to convert me! I got them off my case pretty easily though!!!
Here is an undated post from a discussion website for [never was] "christians" who became atheists, which documents what everyone familiar with JWs already knows -- that JWs see their place of employment as a recruitment field ripe for harvest:
My deconversion did not happen "overnight," but I did experience an exponential push towards atheism after meeting a Jehovah's Witness at work who targeted me as a conversion prospect.
We began having lunches and discussing Jehovah's Witness doctrine. I was not in the least interested in becoming a Jehovah's Witness, but was honestly curious about their beliefs and what made them so different from mine (born-again fundamentalist Christian). I wanted to know what made them a cult, and, (blush) felt I could help this poor stray Jehovah's Witness see the light of my own true Christian beliefs--though they weren't even all that strong at the time and I was going through the motions.
ANYWAY, to make a long story short, I read all their literature, laughed at most of it, but was astonished to find they convinced me of at least one thing...there was no hell. They really did logically convince me that the Bible had been misconstrued and misinterpreted in that regard, and it certainly fit better with what I wanted to believe about God. But...boy did that open another can of worms. ... ...
The following question/scenario was posted on a "legal help" public discussion board; thus, the situation is most likely real. One vital piece of info that the poster did not include is: How did they know that the apartment manager was a JW. Probably, because the apartment manager is proselytizing the tenants:
Manager is becoming a real pain in the A#@!
By: Gjoe - Consumer
Date: 10/14/2006 2:05:27 AM State: CA
I live in a 56 unit apartment complex in So Calif. (Orange County) and have done so for the past 5 years. I live on the ground floor and have a patio/porch approx 8'x8' in the front entrance of my apartment. All of the bottom floor apts have the same amount of space. On my porch I have 4-5 potted plants, 3 resin chairs, a BBQ w/cover and a small table that I place an ashtray on. I smoke outside my apt. along with many other tenants. I have done this since the very beginning. In fact, the complex is very green and lush with trees and flowers everywhere. The management has literally 100's of potted plants scattered around the complex.
For about the last two months our manager has been sending letters to everyone stating that EVERYTHING on our porches must go! All plants, chairs, tables, welcome signs, door wreathes, any decor that personalized our space, ...everything. With no explanation. I have read and re-read my agreement and there is absolutely nothing in the agreement that says I cannot sit outside my apartment and enjoy the fresh air in a chair that I provide.
Since we do not have garages all tenants are being forced to throw away our belongings. Aside from that she also states the children in our complex are no longer allowed to play outside in the common areas. No toys of any kind, balls, bikes, scooters, wagons, and anything with wheels is suddenly prohibited. Strollers can not be outside on your porch at anytime.
My concern is this: I m afraid that she is being influenced by her religion, and imposing it on me. She is a Jehovah's Witness and doesn't believe in celebrating the holidays which are getting closer. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas is celebrated with decoration and all the tenants do it basically for our children's sake. I am wondering if she is violating my rights, I have to wonder if she will tell us next that we can no longer have a Christmas tree showing through our windows.
Please advise there is a small group of us that would like to file a suit. however, I am unsure. In all the tenants rights books and the landlord law books and websites I have checked there is nothing that addresses this issue. Thank you.
As a good example of how Jehovah's Witnesses even teach their children early on to not allow anyone to tread on their civil rights, consider this 2002 court decision. A substitute Teacher in New York , named Mildred Rosario, not only was fired, but also had her teacher's license revoked due to a complaint filed by a Jehovah's Witness "parent", after that JW's eleven year old "daughter" complained about the teacher.
The JW's complaint arose out of a situation where a substitute teacher reacted to an emotionally charged situation. An announcement was made in her sixth-grade classroom, via the school's intercom system, that a student in another class had died due to drowning. The shocking announcement created a buzz among the students. One of the students asked whether the drowned student had gone to heaven. Rosario decided to discuss the situation with whichever students wanted to do so. Realizing that the conversation might be objected to by some of her students, the teacher told the class that whoever didn't want to participate in the conversation should go to another section of the classroom to use the computer or read some books. The Jehovah's Witness student, named Lisette Santos, did not leave. In an effort to console the students, the substitute teacher told her class that the dead student was now in heaven; explained her christian beliefs about salvation; and she asked some of the students if they wanted her to pray for them, which she did. Since Jehovah's Witness children are taught that all non-JWs worship the Devil, 11 year old Lisette Santos reported the teacher's conversation to her sister-in-law, who was her legal guardian. The JW "parent" reported the teacher, who was removed from her classroom the very next day, and fired four days later. Rosario filed a federal lawsuit. The federal court ruled that a school board may have a "compelling interest in avoiding Establishment Clause violations", which may justify firing a teacher who engages in religious discussion. When asked to comment on the teacher's firing, a spokesman for the Watch Tower Society spouted the ACLU party-line that school was no place for children to learn how to pray and that religious instruction was not the job of teachers in public schools.
The Theocratic War Doctrine: Why Jehovah's Witnesses Lie In Court
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