JEHOVAH'S WITNESS
HEALTH CARE WORKERS
COURT CASES
 
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This 3-page section consolidates most JEHOVAH'S WITNESS HEALTH CARE WORKERS and HEALTH CARE SUPPORT EMPLOYEES cases which are scattered throughout the appropriate "topic" sections in our two sister websites. We have attempted to separate the cases into WORK SCHEDULING, HOLIDAYS-BIRTHDAYS, PROSELYTIZING, CRIMES, PROHIBITED DUTIES, CLAIMS OF DISCRIMINATION, and MISCELLANEOUS related sections, but there will always be some cross-over cases. Most cases are in descending chronological order by section.

However, visitors to this webpage should understand that some of the MOST IMPORTANT Jehovah's Witness Health Care Worker cases are NOT included on this webpage. We have another webpage devoted exclusively to the topic of  BREACH OF CONFIDENTIALITY, which includes cases that demonstrate BREACH OF MEDICAL CONFIDENTIALITY by Jehovah's Witness Health Care Workers and Support Staff. We suggest that you click the link above and first READ and STUDY that important webpage before coming back to read this webpage. Health Care Industry Employers (including Medical Transcription services) should understand that the WatchTower Society teaches its members employed as Health Care Workers and Support Staff that breaching medical confidentiality is a REQUIRED RELIGIOUS ACT under certain circumstances, and no threat of termination, nor threat of end-of-career, nor threat of monetary penalty, can override the coveted opportunity for a Jehovah's Witness Health Care Worker to suffer religious martyrdom for the WatchTower Society.

Visitors should also understand that while the over 50 HCW-specific cases posted on this webpage will give readers a good feel for how various issues affect the employment of Jehovah's Witnesses in the Health Care field, you really need to visit and study our topic-specific webpages (covering all occupations) on this same website for background information not included on this webpage, and to get a more complete look at how problems may still erupt in scenarios not covered below.

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WORK SCHEDULING CASES

WATCHTOWER MEETINGS TAKE PRIORITY

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E.E.O.C. v. WHITEHALL HEALTHCARE CENTER was a 2011-12 Michigan federal court case. In December 2011, on behalf of an Ann Arbor, Michigan Jehovah's Witness female Certified Nursing Assistant, named Bekki Heyes, the EEOC filed a federal lawsuit against Whitehall Healthcare Center alleging that the Ann Arbor nursing home had unlawfully fired the Jehovah's Witness after Bekki Heyes refused to work one single Sunday in July 2010. Bekki Heyes had requested not to be scheduled to work on Wednesdays and Sundays, so that Heyes could attend Wednesday night and Sunday morning services at her local Ann Arbor Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, AND GO DOOR-TO-DOOR IN "FIELD SERVICE", which is something any JW can do whenever they have available time. Rather than fight the lawsuit, WhiteHall settled the lawsuit with a payment of $35,000.00, and the standard EEOC agreement for Whitehall to train its employees on how Whitehall must accommodate their employees' religious practices, etc.

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FIELDS v. RAINBOW REHABILITATION CENTER was a 2009-11 Michigan federal court case which involves the 2009 WatchTower Meeting schedule change. Leonardo Jose Fields, a Jehovah's Witness, began working as a Rehabilitation Assistant at Rainbow in 1990. Rainbow provides rehabilitation services to individuals with neurological impairment. In 1994, Leonardo J. Fields requested that he not be scheduled to work on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays as an accommodation for WatchTower meetings on those days. Fields also needed those days off to care for his son from a previous marriage, as those were the days that he had custody of the child. Rainbow accommodated Fields' request until June 2008.

In November 2007, Leonardo Fields filed an internal grievance letter complaining that on several occasions employees were not there to relieve him when his shift ended, thereby requiring Fields to stay beyond his scheduled shift. Fields filed this grievance in response to his being disciplined for failing on November 17, 2007 to stay until appropriate staffing arrived, and leaving the facility without permission from his supervisor. Fields received a 2-day disciplinary suspension and a final written warning as a result of his actions. In his grievance, Fields indicated that after waiting an hour and a half for someone to relieve him, he had to leave to be home to receive his son. In response to his grievance, a review board reduced Fields's suspension to one day, but retained the final written warning.

In fact, Rainbow had been experiencing multiple scheduling problems as multiple employees were being tardy or absent, and/or not willing to work weekends. To help solve the problem, Rainbow instituted a new scheduling policy which required all employees to work their fair share of weekend days. Fields was scheduled to work one Sunday in June 2008, and another Sunday in July 2008. Fields swapped shifts with a co-worker in June, but needed management's assistance for a swap in July. Despite its scheduling problems, Rainbow never again scheduled Fields to work on an "accommodated day".

However, in August 2008, Rainbow sent Fields a memo advising Fields that he was required to work his his scheduled shifts, including his fair share of weekends. Rainbow further advised Leonardo Fields: "You can make schedule change requests, and Rainbow will determine if your request can be accommodated, but you may not dictate to us what your schedule will be."

In November 2008, Leonardo Fields "prematurely" requested that Rainbow add "Wednesdays" to his list of accommodated days, because the WatchTower meetings being held on Tuesdays and Thursdays were going to be consolidated and moved to Wednesdays starting January 2009. However, it is not certain that Fields told Rainbow that this was a future event, nor certain that Fields told Rainbow that WatchTower meetings no longer would be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

On December 23, 2008, Fields received a disciplinary suspension of three days, and a Last and Final written warning for failing to properly supervise a client assigned to him by leaving the client behind at the facility with no supervision. On January 19, 2009, due to Fields' failure to attend a mandatory CPR/FA class on January 13, 2009, Plaintiff was issued a Last and Final written warning with a suspension until Fields completed his recertification training requirements. Although January 13 was a Tuesday -- one of Fields' accommodated days -- he had selected the date of the class. In a subsequent discussion with Supervisor, Fields acknowledged that he was aware of the meeting but that he got stuck with his son at school.

Leonardo Fields also failed to attend a mandatory staff meeting on January 27, 2009 -- a Thursday. Rainbow's policy required the rehabilitation assistant to inform their supervisor prior to the meeting or training session, and an alternative one-on-one session was arranged. Previously, Fields had arranged one-on-one meetings on several occasions when he was unable to attend a monthly meeting, or scheduled certification or training. On a few previous occasions, Fields had even attended monthly meetings even when they occurred on his "accommodated days".

As a result of Fields' failure to attend the January 27, 2009 staff meeting, and his prior policy violations, Rainbow fired Fields on February 24, 2009. In January 2010, Fields filed this federal lawsuit alleging that Rainbow violated Title VII by failing to accommodate his religious beliefs, and by retaliating against him for filing an internal grievance in 2007. Rainbow moved for summary judgment, and such was granted by the USDC in June 2011, stating in part:

... Viewing the evidence presented in a light most favorable to Plaintiff, this Court agrees that Plaintiff fails to present evidence to raise a genuine issue of fact as to whether Defendants discharged or disciplined him for failing to comply with employment requirement(s) that conflicted with his religious beliefs.

With respect to Defendants' discipline of Plaintiff on January 19, 2009, while the CPR/FA training that Plaintiff failed to attend was scheduled on one of Plaintiff's requested days off, he jointly chose that date with [supervisor]. Moreover, in subsequent communications with [supervisor], Plaintiff did not claim that he failed to attend the training due to a conflict with his religious beliefs. Instead, he indicated that he failed to attend because he had been stuck at school with his son.

Defendants did not terminate Plaintiff simply for failing to attend the January 27, 2009 staff meeting which occurred on one of Plaintiff's accommodation days. Rather Defendants terminated Plaintiff because he failed to attend the meeting and failed to contact [supervisor] and arrange alternative one-one-one training. The ability to arrange oneon-one training as an alternative to attending meetings scheduled on one of his accommodated days means, in this Court view, that Plaintiff's religious beliefs did not conflict with an employment requirement. However, even if Plaintiff established a prima case of discrimination, the evidence shows that Defendants in fact accommodated Plaintiff's religious beliefs throughout his employment by not scheduling him on the three and then four days each week that he sought off, allowing him to trade shifts when he was scheduled (whether intentionally or unintentionally) on one of his accommodation days, and permitting him to arrange a one-on-one meeting or training session when such meetings or sessions were scheduled on his accommodation days.

Plaintiff argues that Defendants should not have scheduled staff meetings and training and certification sessions on days that they knew were his accommodation days. In this Court's view, however, it is not reasonable to expect an employer to schedule staff meetings to avoid one employee's accommodated days, particularly where the employee is not able to work four of seven days per week and one of the three days the employee is able to work is a Saturday when the employer already has difficulty getting employers to work. Moreover, Defendants establish that Plaintiff attended meetings and training sessions in the past despite the fact that they were held on one of his accommodated days. Finally, Defendants offered Plaintiff a reasonable alternative to attending those meetings and sessions on his accommodation days, as well as when he was scheduled to work on one of those days, in that they allowed him to arrange alternative one-on-one meetings and/or sessions and to trade shifts with other employees.   ... ... ...

Plaintiff claims that Defendants retaliated against him for submitting his November 2007 internal grievance when they scheduled him to work shifts on Sunday, June 29, and Sunday, July 6, 2008, and scheduled staff meetings on the days he requested to not work due to his religious beliefs. With respect to the Sunday shifts, Plaintiff did not work those shifts as he was able to trade them with other employees. The Court therefore does not believe that he suffered an adverse employment action. Even if he did, however, Plaintiff offers no evidence to establish a causal connection between his internal grievance letter and his two scheduled Sunday shifts. While Plaintiff was disciplined for not attending the staff meeting and training session scheduled on his accommodated days, he likewise presents no evidence suggesting a causal connection between the scheduling of the meeting and session and his grievance more than a year earlier. In short, Plaintiff fails to establish a prima facie claim of retaliation.

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NADINE HENDERSON v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS was a 2008-09 federal employee EEOC decision which involved an African-American Jehovah's Witness named Nadine Henderson. Henderson worked as a Staff Nurse in the Spinal Cord Injury Unit of the agency's Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. Henderson worked four ten-hour shifts on Friday-Monday nights, which allowed her to attend her WatchTower meetings on Wedneday evenings and Sundays, plus participate in field service (door-knocking) on Saturdays. In late 2007, due to staffing shortage, Henderson's schedule was changed to rotating four nights. After she complained, Henderson was allowed off on Wednesdays so that she could attend her local Kingdom Hall meetings.
 
In June 2008, Nadine Henderson was suspended for one week after several weeks of internal procedures relating to charges that Henderson had committed the following infractions after the schedule change: delay in patient care; administration of the wrong medication; failing to complete an assignment that endangered the safety of patients; and failing to complete an assignment requiring the administration of medication. Thereafter, Henderson filed an EEO complaint alleging religious discrimination and racial discrimination when her work schedule was changed, and retaliation via the suspension. The EEOC Administrative Judge ruled that there had been no discrimination during the schedule change that affected the entire department. In fact, Henderson had been permitted to continue to work the ten hour shifts she preferred, while others were required to work either eight hour or twelve hour shifts, plus Henderson was allowed off every Wednesday night to accommodate her WatchTower meetings. On appeal, the EEOC affirmed.
 
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LEWIS ROGERS, JR v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS was a 1997-1999 federal employee EEOC decision which involved an African-American Jehovah's Witness named Lewis Rogers Jr. Rogers was employed as a Records Management/Duplication Clerk at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Asheville, North Carolina. Rogers was scheduled to work Monday through Friday, from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Rogers was the only employee who performed his duties.

In February 1997, Lewis Rogers Jr requested that his work schedule be "compressed" to Monday through Thursday from 6:00 AM to 4:30 PM., which would "allow him more time to devote to his Family and Church."  Rogers failed to identify a specific WatchTower belief or practice which required him to not work on Fridays. Rogers' request was denied, and Rogers thereafter filed a complaint alleging religious discrimination based on the agency's failure to provide reasonable accommodation "to pursue his work with his church and devote more time to his family." After the agency ruled that there had been no religious discrimination, Rogers added the allegations that he had also suffered racial discrimination, color discrimination, and age discrimination. On appeal, the EEOC affirmed the agency's ruling that there had been no religious discrimination, and found no race, color, nor age discrimination.

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EEOC v. GREENWICH HOSPITAL was a 1996 employment discrimination lawsuit filed by EEOC on behalf of a Jehovah's Witness named James J. Hopkins. Hopkins had resigned his position as a part-time relief food service supervisor at Greenwich Hospital in January 1993.  Hopkins alleged that the hospital discriminated against him by refusing to "accommodate" his Jehovah's Witnesses meetings when scheduling his work hours.  Evidently, Hopkins was a Jehovah's Witness Elder, who was required to participate in meetings held on Sundays - days which Greenwich had scheduled him to work. COMPARE THIS LAWSUIT WITH THE NEXT SUMMARY.
 
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The following 1987 Unemployment Compensation case, with several specifics not available, should be contrasted with other decisions. An unidentified Jehovah's Witness was employed as a kitchen shift supervisor at an unidentified hospital. Over the years, he had compromised in his work scheduling such that he would work either one Tuesday or one Thursday evening each week, which would allow him to only attend one or the other weekday "JW meetings" each week. At some point in 1986-87, there were some type of changes occurring, which made it necessary for the hospital to make some drastic changes to the scheduling for a one month period. At first, the JW Employee was asked to take on more hours, but he declined. By requiring those extra duties being shifted to co-workers, and in order to accommodate his "one Tuesday or one Thursday evening off per week", he was forced to take a lower line job for that one month. After only two of the four weeks, it became necessary for the hospital to schedule the JW Employee with no weekday evening off during weeks three and four. Evidently, there was more going on than reported, since the JW Employee resigned. His later request for unemployment benefits were denied. Since the JW Employee had historically missed one of the two weekday meetings each week, such proved that his personal belief was that attendance at Jehovah's Witness meetings were not required.

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DONALD HAIG v. ST. EDWARDS MERCY HOSPITAL was a 1982-83 unemployment compensation case ultimately decided by the Arkansas Court of Appeals. After Donald Haig converted to the Jehovah's Witnesses, he began attending the three WatchTower conventions each year. Although it created scheduling problems, St. Edwards Mercy Hospital readily cooperated in allowing Haig to switch shifts or take accrued vacation time in order to attend these three conventions.

In August 1982, Haig notified the Hospital of a convention being held on a Saturday, but the work schedules had already been prepared, and Haig was scheduled to work. Haig was allowed to switch shifts with a co-worker, but the co-worker later had a personal conflict arise, and he was unable to work the Saturday shift. Haig attempted to arrange for a substitute, but the only other available co-worker was too inexperienced and was unacceptable to the employer. Since no acceptable substitute was available, the Hospital informed Haig that he would be required to work, and, if he attended the convention leaving no one to work his shift, then he would be fired. Haig informed Hospital that he intended to be present at the scheduled convention, and he tendered his resignation.

Haig filed for unemployment benefits, which were denied by the Board of Review on a finding that he voluntarily quit his last work without good cause connected with the work. This appellate decision affirmed the denial, stating:

After a review of the record, we are satisfied that there is substantial evidence to support the Board's decision denying benefits to the appellant on a finding that he voluntarily quit his last work. We find the Sherbert and Thomas decisions distinguishable from the facts presented in the case at bar. Here, the appellant's desire to attend the religious convention was not a 'cardinal principle of' or 'conduct mandated by' his religion. Thus, he was not required to choose between his employment and the sacrifice of a constitutionally protected right. Since the appellant's desire to attend the convention was personally motivated and his non-attendance was not violative of the foundation of his religion, we affirm the Board's denial of unemployment compensation benefits.

The Arkansas Appellate Court's reasoning was incorrect. The cited precedents make it clear that an employee's personal beliefs are controlling; even if such are more restrictive than that required by his denomination. Instead, this court should have ruled in the hospital's favor based on precedents pertaining to "accommodation". In this instance, the hospital clearly had made reasonable attempts to accommodate Haig's schedule, and his eventual absence created an "undue hardship" for his employer.

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DEPT OF HRS v. VENTURI-CLYDE was a 1977 personnel hearing involving a Florida Jehovah's Witness employed at a state-operated residential facility for the profound and severely retarded. The JW Employee requested two days annual leave to attend a Jehovah's Witness Circuit Assembly. By making inquiry of other employees as to exchanging days with the JW Employee and instructing the JW Employee to do the same, the employer attempted to accommodate the JW Employee's request, but was unsuccessful. The JW Employee took off the two days anyway, plus failed to call in. After returning to work, the JW Employee was docked the two day's pay, and was suspended for three days without pay. The JW Employee appealed the suspension. The Hearing found that the employer's attempt to make an "accommodation" was "reasonable", though such failed. The Hearing found that the suspension was not due to the JW Employee attendance at the religious convention, but due to the Employee's history of tardiness and absences. On numerous occasions during her employment, the JW Employee had been orally counseled by her supervisor regarding excessive absences and tardiness. In April 1975, and January 1976, respondent received written reprimands from her supervisor for an unauthorized absence and habitual tardiness. On both occasions, she was warned that the next such offense would warrant suspension. The suspension was affirmed.

 
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HOLIDAYS - BIRTHDAYS CASES
 
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CABALUNA v. HOAG MEMORIAL HOSPITAL was a 2009-14 California state appellate court decision which should encourage any and all Jehovah's Witness Employees who have been or who are being harassed or discriminated against by a supervisor or co-worker because of their religious beliefs and/or practices to continue to FILE MULTIPLE COMPLAINTS with their Employer until the offending supervisor or co-worker is disciplined or even terminated.

In this court case, the plaintiff, Cabaluna, was the TERMINATED former co-worker of a Jehovah's Witness Employee named Marilyn E. Dougher, of Huntington Beach, California. Despite having been employed by Hoag Memorial Hospital for 28 YEARS, and at the time of her discharge being the Charge Nurse in the Hospital's dialysis unit, Cabaluna was FIRED by the Hospital in 2009 after she "conducted in the workplace a mocking birthday celebration for [Marilyn] Dougher during which she gave [Marilyn]Dougher a birthday cake and sang 'Happy Birthday, Bitch'." Marilyn E. Dougher, then age 56, complained about the "mocking birthday celebration" to her own supervisor, and the Hospital thereafter fired Cabaluna.

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MARIA ANTOINETTE THOMAS v. CITY OF CHICAGO was a 2010 federal USDC case which involved a Jehovah's Witness Registered Nurse and her employer, the City of Chicago.  In April 2007, Maria A. Thomas was hired on a probationary basis as an Occupational Health Nurse for the Chicago Police Department's Medical Section. Maria Thomas was terminated in September 2007 before the end of her probationary period.
 
In December 2007, Thomas filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, alleging that the City terminated her because of her WatchTower religion. The USDC noted that this was the THIRD EMPLOYER against whom Maria Antoinette Thomas had filed discrimination charges. In February 2008, Thomas received a Right-To-Sue letter from EEOC based on her allegations of religious discrimination. Thomas filed her own lawsuit against the City in May 2008 alleging that she experienced various forms of employment discrimination. Specifically, in Counts I and II of her First Amended Complaint, Thomas claimed violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for harassment and discrimination, and retaliation. After the City moved for summary judgment on both counts, Thomas voluntarily abandoned her retaliation claim. In January 2010, the USDC granted the City's Motion for Summary Judgment on the balance of Thomas's lawsuit.
 
Approximately two or three weeks after Thomas started working with the City, her co-workers invited Thomas to a potluck dinner during their shift to welcome her and a second new employee to the group. Thomas eventually learned that a third co-worker's birthday would also be celebrated at the potluck dinner, so Thomas told co-workers that she would not attend due to her WatchTower beliefs. Only a few weeks later, Thomas' co-workers held another celebration at work. When Thomas did not participate, a co-worker told Thomas that a Jehovah's Witness female who used to work in the Medical Section used to attend the celebrations at the office. Thomas walked away from the conversation at the moment the co-worker said that the previous JW Employee would attend the celebrations.
 
As an occupational nurse, Thomas interviewed police officers to determine their need for additional treatment or additional time away from work, referred officers for treatment, determined dates that officers could return to work, determined potential work restrictions for officers returning to work and recorded her notes in the police department's computerized tracking system. Thomas did not provide medical care.
 
Oftentimes, the person in charge of referring officers for particular medical treatment, named Finnegan, disagreed with Thomas' proposed course of treatment. For example, approximately two weeks after Thomas started working for the City, Thomas told Finnegan that an officer should see a plastic surgeon to close a wound instead of receiving stitches due to the possibility that the officer had suffered nerve damage. Instead of following Thomas' recommendation, Finnegan told her supervisor, named Hemmerling, that the officer should see a doctor to receive stitches. Hemmerling agreed and had the officer see a doctor instead of a plastic surgeon. After observing the wound, the doctor sent the officer to the plastic surgeon to have the wound mended. Thomas believed that Finnegan disagreed with her assessments on a daily basis in order to undermine or sabotage her work. Thomas also believed that other employees took files from her office to sabotage her.
 
Hemmerling met with Thomas at least twice per week to discuss her performance issues at work. During the meetings, Hemmerling told Thomas that Thomas' entries into the computerized tracking system contained misspellings of common medical terms and unclear abbreviations, unsupported extensions of time off for officers, unclear documentation of medical conditions and evidence that Thomas failed to follow-up with officers when necessary.  After discussing these concerns with Thomas, Hemmerling informed a superior of Thomas' performance issues, and in May 2007 documented her deficiencies in a memo to the Personal Division. In June 2007, Hemmerling assigned an occupational health nurse with more experience to oversee and assist Thomas, but her work did not improve. Proper administrative procedures and channels were followed leading to Thomas's eventual termination.
 
The USDC noted, in part:
Here, Thomas claims that the following incidents created a religiously hostile work environment for her: 1) receiving questions from co-workers regarding her faith; 2) exclusion from birthday parties; 3) Finnegan "undermining or sabotaging" her work; 4) Hemmerling making two comments about her religion; 5) someone placing fish in the trash can outside of her office; 6) receiving "less favorable" treatment than other employees with respect to days off during her probationary period; 7) not being able to place a name tag outside of her door; and 8) not being able to display all of her qualifications on her business cards. However, Thomas has offered no evidence to demonstrate that any of the allegedly harassing conduct was because of her religion or that it was sufficiently severe or pervasive as to alter the conditions of her employment.

For example, Thomas first claims that co-workers' questions about her faith and her subsequent exclusion from office birthday parties created a hostile work environment; however, the record establishes that Thomas was willing to discuss her faith with her co-workers and that questions about her religion did not offend her. The record also demonstrates that, contrary to Thomas contention, she was not excluded from office birthday parties, rather she herself decided not to attend these parties due to her religion. To be sure, the record reveals that when a co-worker told Thomas that another Jehovah's Witness used to come to the office parties, in an attempt to persuade Thomas to attend, Thomas simply walked away from the conversation. Additionally, the undisputed facts demonstrate that Thomas' co-workers never criticized Thomas for choosing not to attend the parties. ... Therefore, the record is devoid of evidence to support Thomas' contention that allegedly harassing conduct was because of her religion or that it was subjectively and objectively hostile.

Next, Thomas claims she was subjected to a hostile work environment because Finnegan was "undermining or sabotaging" her work. However, even if Thomas could establish that Finnegan was "undermining or sabotaging" her work, she offers no evidence to support the inference that Finnegan was "undermining or sabotaging" her work based on her religion. In fact, the record reveals that Thomas did not mention her religion at all when she complained to Hemmerling about her co-workers, but instead maintained that her co-workers undermined her work because they disagreed with her assessment of the proper treatment and referrals for certain officers. Because the record is devoid of evidence to support Thomas' speculation that Finnegan's motivation for undermining her work was because of her religion, she can not maintain a claim of hostile work environment based on Finnegan's alleged conduct.

Thomas also claims that she was subjected to a hostile work environment because Hemmerling made two negative remarks about her religion. Although disputed by Hemmerling, Thomas asserts that Hemmerling made the first remark in May 2007, after Thomas received authorization to leave early to care for her sick daughter. Hemmerling went to Thomas' office and said, "I will pray for you but not a stupid Jehovah prayer." Thomas asserts that Hemmerling made the second remark after she and Thomas had a work related disagreement. While walking away from Thomas' office, Hemmerling mumbled under her breath that Thomas was "a stupid Witness." The record does not demonstrate that Hemmerling, or any other employee, made any other derogatory comments regarding Thomas's religion. As previously noted, in order to establish a hostile work environment, Thomas must show the harassment to be "both subjectively and objectively so severe or persuasive as to alter the conditions of employment and create an abusive working environment." ... Here, even accepting Thomas' assertions as true, the record supports that Hemmerling made only two isolated remarks to Thomas, as opposed to a "concentrated or incessant barrage," which would likely have a greater emotional impact.. ...
Further, the remarks at issue were not made in public; if made, they were only made in Thomas' presence and one was barely audible as it was mumbled under Hemmerling's breath. Because Hemmerling's comments were infrequent and merely offensive as opposed to threatening and humiliating, Thomas has failed to establish that Hemmerling's two isolated remarks, over the period of her employment, were objectively so severe or persuasive as to create a hostile work environment. ...

Thomas next claims that she suffered from a hostile work environment because an unidentified co-worker, on two or three occasions, placed the remnants of a fish dinner in a garbage can outside her office. Thomas admits that she does not know who threw the fish into the trash can and has not offered any evidence, beyond her own assertion, to support her conclusion that the act of discarding fish into her trash can was critical of her religious beliefs. While Thomas may have felt that the act of discarding fish into a trash can outside her office was an affront to her religious beliefs, ...
she has failed to set forth evidence to establish that this conduct was motivated by her religion or that a reasonable person would find this behavior objectively hostile.

Next, Thomas claims that was subjected to a hostile work environment when she received "less favorable" treatment than a co-worker when she asked for days off during her probationary period. The record indicates that Thomas wanted to take two days off in July, 2007, but did not file a written request to do so. Nonetheless, Thomas was allowed to take the time off and was not disciplined for her failure to follow proper procedure. Thomas asserts that another employee, who she does not identify, but who the court assumes is her co-worker Salinski, received more favorable treatment when she requested time off. However, the record reveals that Thomas does not know whether Salinski, unlike herself, submitted a written request for time off, and if not, whether she was disciplined for failing to follow proper procedure. Thomas also concedes that she does not know whether Salinski received pay while on vacation. Because Thomas can not even establish that Salinski was similarly situated and treated more favorably, she can not establish that she received "less favorable" treatment because of her religion. Additionally, Thomas' concession that she was not disciplined for her failure to file a written request for time off, and was still allowed to take the time off, establish that the treatment she did receive was not sufficiently severe to create a hostile work environment. Moreover, even if Thomas had established that she received "less favorable" treatment, Thomas has set for no evidence to indicate that her religion was in any way a motivating factor for the treatment she received.

Lastly, Thomas claims that she was subjected to a hostile work environment when she was not allowed to place a name tag outside her door and was not allowed to list all of her qualifications on her business cards. However, Thomas concedes that she does not know why Hemmerling removed her name tag from her door. And, the record reveals that police officers serving as occupational nurses could use the initials "PO, RN" on their business cards to reflect their status as sworn officers but that Thomas does not know how other civilian occupational nurses, such as herself, displayed their names on their business cards. In short, Thomas has provided no evidence to link the removal of her name tag or the changing of her business cards to her religion.

Finally, even if Thomas had established that the incidents she complains of were objectively and subjectively hostile, there is no basis for employer liability because the record reveals that she never complained to the City about the allegedly harassing behavior, despite the fact that the City had a complaint register where employees could file complaints and report harassment. ...
 
Because Thomas has failed to submit evidence that she was harassed because of her religion, or that the harassment was sufficiently severe or pervasive as to alter the conditions of her employment and create an abusive working environment, the City is entitled to judgment as a matter of law with respect to Thomas' hostile work environment claim.
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EEOC v. COMMUNITY TRANSPORT SERVICES was a 2009-11 South Carolina federal court case. Suing on behalf of a former feamle Jehovah's Witness Employee, named Dale Morant, E.E.O.C. alleged that in 2006 that Community Transport Services LLC, a regional ambulance service, fired the female E.M.T. after she refused to hand out advertising materials as a company representative at the Prince of Orange Mall, in Orangeburg, S.C, because a Halloween carnival was then being held at the Mall. The EEOC lawsuit sought back pay, reinstatement, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for Dale Morant. EEOC also asked the court to order the company to stop discriminating against employees. Dale Morant had initially filed a complaint with the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission (SCHAC), which investigates such allegations for violations of state law. It is not known whether Dale Morant attempted to sue CTS under state laws.

Community Transport Services LLC was sold to a competitor in November 2007, yet the EEOC still went after the former owner for money. Possibly indicating that that former owner never responded to this lawsuit, in September 2011, the USDC issued a DEFAULT JUDGMENT awarding Dale Morant $23,435.02 as back pay and $10,000.00 as compensatory damages for Dale Morant's "emotional distress". Our guess is that this judgment has never been collected.

We were hoping that this lawsuit would go to trial. There was no reported indication that CTS had asked Morant to dress-up or to do anything else which would be considered participation in the Halloween carnival. Apparently, CTS simply was taking advantage of the Mall event to promote its services to the local community. We were hoping that CTS's attorney would ask Dale Morant if she would have refused to travel to the Mall and treat a mall employee or mall patron who was injured or became ill at the Mall during the Halloween carnival. We were hoping that CTS's attorney would ask Dale Morant if Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to shop at Malls or other retail stores during holiday seasons when Malls are decorated for Halloween and other holidays.

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IN RE CLALLAM COUNTY HOSPITAL DISTRICT was a 1995 Washington state arbitration which involved a Jehovah's Witness Employee who refused to erect a Christmas tree.  The arbitrator ruled in favor of the JW Employee, because the Hospital failed to reasonably accommodate the JW Employee's religious beliefs, since other similar employees were available who could have performed this task.

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BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS & JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS
 
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How two Jehovah’s Witnesses were paid millions to restrict Western Australia blood transfusions

THE SUNDAY TIMES
May 14, 2014
CATHY SAUNDERS AND MARTIN SAXON
(excerpts - edited)

THE W[estern] A[ustralia] Department of Health has paid almost $4 million to two Jehovah’s Witnesses, neither of whom is a medical doctor, to roll out a statewide program to cut blood transfusions to thousands of patients being treated in public hospitals.

The Sunday Times can reveal the two men, Axel [Olaf] Hofmann and Shannon [L.] Farmer – whose religion is vehemently opposed to blood transfusions – won the lucrative five-year contract in 2008, with an American associate, without having to bid for the job.

The contract was approved by the Health Department for exemption from the usual open-tender rules because, according to the department, the trio were the only ones with the skills to plan and implement a “patient blood management” (PBM) program in WA. ... ...

The Sunday Times can also reveal:

The man who championed the introduction of PBM to WA was the former Chief Medical Officer, Dr Simon Towler, who has known [Shannon] Farmer professionally since the early 1990s.

The PBM rollout was given the go-ahead by the Health Department after receiving presentations from [Shannon L.] Farmer and [Axel O.] Hofmann in 2007.

The department told The Sunday Times the religion of the two men was "known to the Department’s State Health Executive Forum [SHEF] prior to contracts being [a]warded".

However, Dr Neale Fong, who was WA Director-General of Health and head of SHEF at the time, told The Sunday Times that he did not think he was told that the men were Jehovah’s Witnesses.

"I don’t believe so," he said. "You’ve surprised me by mentioning it. I think it should have been declared." ... ...

"But I think from an ethical point of view it would have been useful for them to declare it." Dr Fong said. ...

Dr Fong said the PBM proposal had made sense in terms of health economics and he had been very pleased to support it.

He stressed that the key consideration for any initiative was the welfare of the patient. ...

When told that the consulting doctors’ orders for blood were sometimes overridden at Fremantle Hospital, Dr Fong said, "I would have some concerns over that." (SEE ARTICLE BELOW) ... ... ... ...

The Sunday Times has established that the contract was awarded on April 10, 2008, through an Austrian entity called"Medicine and Economics" ..., which is owned by [Axel O.] Hofmann, a health economist who has a base there.

Under the contract, [Medicine and Economics] was paid $3,901,703.00The money was paid into a bank account in Austria, according to the Health Department.

It is not clear why the contract was awarded to German-born [Axel O.] Hofmann’s Austrian business entity, since he does not appear to have had any previous experience in establishing and operating a PBM program. He does not have a degree in medicine but he has a Master’s in economics and a PhD in health science.

[Shannon L.] Farmer, who has no tertiary qualifications, and a California-based associate, who also is not a medical doctor but has degrees in economics and health science, have been involved in implementing such hospital programs, even though on a much smaller scale than the statewide program in W[estern] A[ustralia].[Shannon] Farmer was the co-founder of a "bloodless" surgery program in 1990 at Fremantle’s Kaleeya private hospital.

During the term of the [Medicine and Economics] contract, it is also apparent that [Axel] Hofmann and [Shannon] Farmer received payments as consultants or guest lecturers from the pharmaceutical companies that make the often expensive drugs used as substitutes for blood transfusions.

[Axel O.] Hofmann has declared payments or travel support for consulting or lecturing from at least 14 pharmaceutical companies. [Shannon L.] Farmer has declared that he received lecturing or consulting payments or travel support from at least six pharmaceutical or related companies.  ... ... ... ... ... ... 

END OF ARTICLE
***

Per above:

Shannon L. Farmer elsewhere disclosed receiving money in the form of consulting-lecture honoraria and travel assistance from Novo NordiskVifor Pharma Ltd.Johnson & Johnson Ethicon BiosurgeryAustralian Red Cross Blood Service,Australian National Blood AuthorityAustralian Jurisdictional Blood Committee, and 4 Australian State Departments of Health.

Axel Olaf Hofmann elsewhere disclosed receiving money in the form of consulting-lecture honoraria and travel assistance from Novo NordiskVifor Pharma Ltd.Johnson & Johnson Ethicon BiosurgeryAmgenCSL BehringFresenius Kabi,HaemoneticsJanssen-CilagPentapharm/TEMUnited Biosource CorpAustrian Ministry of HealthWA Dept of HealthAustralian Red Cross Blood Service, and The Institute for Patient Blood Management & Bloodless Medicine and Surgery.

***

Some Fremantle Hospital patients restricted to one unit of blood in trial

THE SUNDAY TIMES
May 17, 2014
CATHY SAUNDERS AND MARTIN SAXON
(excerpts - edited)

PATIENTS at a major W[estern] A[ustralia] public hospital were used as part of a three-year pilot program that deliberately restricted the amount of blood used in many transfusions – sometimes against the recommendation of the bedside doctor.

The program of restricting blood for WA patients which started at Fremantle Hospital in 2009 is continuing and is being rolled out across all WA public hospitals over the next few years.

Two Jehovah’s Witnesses – whose religion forbids blood transfusions and donations – were part of the taxpayer-funded WA “Patient Blood Management” (WA PBM) team who were implementing the program, which includes a “single-unit” policy being used at Fremantle Hospital to dictate how much blood certain patients can receive.

This means some patients, such as those who are not bleeding and not in an operating theatre but need blood for other reasons, such as anaemia, can only receive one unit (usually 220ml) at a time, regardless of whether the doctor thinks more is required.

This blanket one-unit policy is a departure from standard medical practice in which the doctor decides what is best for the patient, taking into account the patient’s preferences. The new state-sanctioned regimen at Fremantle Hospital means that all requests for blood transfusions for patients by attending doctors are reviewed by nominated “gatekeeper” laboratory staff.

Doctors, including senior doctors, may order blood for patients but have their orders overridden by a member of the hospital PBM team, which may be a nurse or a doctor who is not involved in the case.

Doctors at the hospital are monitored for compliance with the program.

Hospital department heads were told during the pilot program at Fremantle that using more than one unit of blood for certain patients was contrary to National Blood Authority guidelines. However, the NBA guidelines were not published until well after the pilot was finished. These guidelines, once published, did not contain an evidence-based recommendation for a single-unit policy.

A poster used to promote the single unit policy claims that the policy is in accordance with the 2001 guidelines of the nation’s peak health body, the National Health and Medical Research Council. There is no such policy in those 13-year-old guidelines.

The overall effects of the scaled-back transfusions or bloodless drug alternatives on the health of the patients in the blood pilot are unknown.

Results published in an online medical journal by the WA PBM team stated only that in some patients undergoing knee surgery at Fremantle Hospital, the average length of stay in hospital decreased by one day, from 5.9 to 4.8 days.

Two of the authors of the online article, Jehovah’s Witnesses Shannon Farmer and Axel Hofmann, neither of whom is a medical doctor, have declared that some of the pharmaceutical companies that make the bloodless alternative drugs had paid them consulting or lecturing fees or travel support. (SEE ABOVE)

Dr Neale Fong, who was WA Director-General of Health when the WA PBM proposal was given the go-ahead in 2007, said he was not aware that sometimesdrugs were given to patients in place of blood transfusions.

Dr Fong also said he was not aware at the time of approval that the PBM program was being recommended by Jehovah’s Witnesses. ... ... ... ... ... 

END OF ARTICLE

 

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