Real 'BIG' news WTS sued biggie worker compensation

by DannyHaszard 210 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • sir82
    Who is not Covered?
    • Clergy and members of religious orders.

    This has been their loophole so far.

    Every single Bethel worker is a member of something called "The Special Order of Full Time Servants of Jehovah's Witnesses" or some such name, a legally-defined religious order. I even think there is some sort of "vow of poverty" and such. This has been in effect for a number of years, I don't recall how many

    So, why did the judge in this case rule as he did? Surely the woman who sued was a memeber of that "Religious Order" at the time of the injury, right?

  • Country Girl
    Country Girl


    Thanks for the clarification from the source. However, under "Who Is Not Covered" it would seem that all those in category number #2 could easily fall under catetory #1, due to its ambiguity. Will the JWs seek an appeal on the basis that each member at Bethel was "a member of a religious order" and therefore not under the requirement for coverage? Will they base an appeal on the fact that each member of the religious order is considered a "teacher"?


  • observador

    Man, this is really something. Very BIG news, indeed!
    I especially like the title that says "Jehovah's loses comp case"... Isn't that ironic?

    I also like this bit:

    "we don't have a spiritual conflict"... "Our problem all along has been medical-legal".

    This shows how legally well-advised this woman is. Very, very smart!

    It's still to be seen whether or not WT will fight in this "active witness" sister in "Ceasar's" court. It will be interesting to follow developments in this case.

    Danny, thank you for the info and please keep us posted.


  • Axelspeed
    They take wonderful care of you up to a point, and then you're on your own

    This should be a sobering, wake up and smell the coffee thought for bethelites on the way out. The fact that many will be reassigned is just a nice way to say "you're on your own now". You will basically have the same care plan as a regular pioneer with all its many benefits . Good luck on the job search. Bethelites- take note, you will be entering the real world now. No more cooked meals, made beds, automatic laundry service. Get what you can while you can. If you have access to compelling inside documents...get while you can, you never know when you'll need it and wish you had. Axel

  • TheListener

    Perhaps the couple stated they were still active Jehovah's witnesses for two reasons. One so they wouldn't appear disgruntled with the organization. And second they have chosen to not be shunned by having it announced that they are no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

    What is the statute of limitations for a worker's compensaton case?

  • RunningMan

    Notice how these exclusions are worded:

    * Clergy and members of religious orders.
    * People engaged in a teaching or non-manual capacity in or for a religious, charitable or educational institution.

    So, implicit in this statement is the idea that clergy and members of a religious order would be considered to be persons involved in spiritual leadership. Others (teachers, or any other non-manual capacity) are categorized separately. The way I read this, manual workers for a religious order would be covered by WC. So, the religious order defense is not going to hold water here. Their only hope is to try for some sort of voluntary classification.

    Personally, I think the society is screwed on this one.

    How much will it cost? Well, in my province the rate for printing employees is 1.19%. I assume the premium would be assessed on a "deemed" salary, since they receive a stipend, plus room and board. If bethel employs 6000 people, and we eliminate 2000 as spiritual leaders, teachers, and non-manual employees, and we assume a modest deemed salary of $2000 per month, they are looking $1,142,400 per year, plus back dues, penalties, and legal costs to appeal this.

    Yes, I think they are screwed on this one. And how many others are out there? - health premiums, pension costs, etc, could dwarf the cost of the WC assessment.

  • sir82
    The way I read this, manual workers for a religious order would be covered by WC. So, the religious order defense is not going to hold water here.

    I hope I'm wrong, but I do see a big distinction.

    Bethel workers are not manual workers for a religious order. They are the religious order. A requirement for entering Bethel is that they themselves take the oath and sign their names on the dotted line. The religious order has a special name, "The Special Order of Full-Time blah blah I forget the rest". 99.9% of JWs are not members of this religious order, but all full-time Bethel workers are.

    They also happen to do manual labor. Kind of like monks who, in addition to praying & fasting or whatnot, also sweep the floors, tend the vegetable garden, and brew the world's finest beer (at least the ones in Belgium do).

  • Frannie Banannie
    Frannie Banannie
    People engaged in a teaching or non-manual capacity in or for a religious, charitable or educational institution.

    Big UH-OH here on the phrase "non-manual capacity".......NO WONDER the WT-BATS is changing to printing machinations() that don't require many people to MANUALLY operate them.and gettin' tha helloutta Dodge by changing their venue for this to other countries not governed by the USA's workers' comp laws.

    My, my, my.....before you know it, they'll quit keeping track of pioneers' and publishers' time in SERVICE, because not only do they teach, they also SELL PUBLICATIONS.


  • TheListener

    Yes, but unless I'm mistaken the monks do general labor to support the facility that they are using for their religious order. They are not performing the work of printing, publishing, translating, organizing literature orders, arranging convention program, and so on. It seems that a key difference would be the work that is performed by the individuals in the religious order.

    In my experience most church circulars and newletters are either printed by a local member and for free or some contribution or if a larger church is involved a printing company is hired to perform the work. Perhaps the WTS will have to sub-out much more of their work and even more bethelites will be sent home.

  • jgnat

    In Alberta, there is no statute of limitations on worker's compensation. In theory, grandchildren can sue for uncompensated injuries their grandparents suffered.

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