Does the August Awake! applaud illegal hiring of European JWs? Euro opinions sought.

by Open mind 16 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Open mind
    Open mind

    The August 2010 Awake! magazine, (cover title) "Jehovah's Witnesses, Who Are They?", seems to be a PR puff piece aimed primarily at a European audience. Anyone else get that impression? That's a scene setter, but a side point for the purposes of this thread.

    OK, here's the main point:

    First article, page 3, paragraph 2, reads as follows:

    "On the basis of his dealings with Jehovah's Witnesses on a professional level, a human resources consultant for a chain store in Europe found them to be honest workers. As a result, he sought to hire Witnesses."

    I live in the USA and in reality this kind of thing happens all the time. Mormons give Mormons preference. Born Agains give Born Agains preference. Yada, yada, yada. But here's my point and my question. It is patently ILLEGAL. It happens all the time, but if a U.S. employer were to admit to it, they would be hit with a law suit faster than an elder can say "Wait on Jehovah".

    So for the European readers, is it the same there?


  • DaCheech


    nepostism exists in my NJ municipalities. It is even more illegal for them................. but it still exists

  • blondie

    I always wondered about this myself. I worked in a place that had prior to my hire, hired only Catholic, white men. With the change of the company president due to retirement, the new president ended that practice.

    I have known witnesses to hire only witnesses; the problem came in when they hired both jws and non-jws and the non-jws complained.

    I found that many jw business owners treated jws worse than the non-jws because they felt they could not make any legal complaint.


    3. What is the scope of the Title VII prohibition on disparate treatment based on religion?

    Title VII’s prohibition against disparate (different) treatment based on religion generally functions like its prohibition against disparate treatment based on race, color, sex, or national origin. Disparate treatment violates the statute whether the difference is motivated by bias against or preference toward an applicant or employee due to his religious beliefs, practices, or observances – or lack thereof. For example, except to the extent permitted by the religious organization or ministerial exceptions:

    • employers may not refuse to recruit, hire, or promote individuals of a certain religion, impose stricter promotion requirements for persons of a certain religion, or impose more or different work requirements on an employee because of that employee’s religious beliefs or practices
    • employers may not refuse to hire an applicant simply because he does not share the employer’s religious beliefs, and conversely may not select one applicant over another based on a preference for employees of a particular religion
  • Scully

    When you have a hiring preference "for" a certain group, you are automatically excluding people who are not part of the group. That is the basis for a discrimination charge.

    What would have to happen, though, is for an employer to tell a person who has interviewed for a posted job listing that they are not being hired because they are not part of the preferential group.

    JW employers and JW business owners can get around that by having JW-only recruiters who only offer interviews to JWs that they know, or who have been referred to them by JWs of their acquaintance, without posting job vacancies. If a JW business owner has an agenda of creating a Theocratic™ workplace and that is how the JW recruiters describe it to other JW potential hires, they aren't going to pee in their own cornflakes by reporting illegal hiring practices.

  • Scully

    We knew some JW business owners whose entire workforce was made up of JWs, in fact I worked in such a place for a while.

    It was a pain in the butt to get time off for conventions, because the business had to be closed for an extra couple of days or people were required to go to a different convention to accommodate the workplace.

    It was also an eye opening experience in terms of seeing certain Elders™ and Pioneers™ out of the context of a KH. They were no different behaviour-wise than the truckers and forklift operators in the back warehouse. In fact, I learned to swear in French because of the lovely Pioneer™/ receptionist who worked there.

  • Open mind
    Open mind

    Thanks everyone for the comments so far.

    Here's what I found particularly galling about the Awake! quote. JWs are supposed to be ultra-righteous when it comes to obeying Caesar's law. But here's an example of blatant illegal hiring practices and Awake! is parading it around like it's no big deal.

    Still hoping to hear from anyone across the pond as to whether or not this would raise eyebrows amongst the average Joe Public European reading it.


  • highdose

    In the UK it is very illigel to give jobs to people for any reason other than their own professional merit. To hire someone because of their religous veiws could get you in trouble if found out.

    Having said that... i too knew JW companys that hired only JW's, they were looked up to and aplauded by the other members of the cong.

  • TheOldHippie

    Two different things are mixed together here. Point one, in Europe as elsewhere, a person having a personally owned firm pretty much employs whom he wishes. A JW owns a firm, knows of another JW, asks him to start working in his firm, there is nothing illegal to that in Europe.

    What IS illegal, is for a business that puts an advertisement asking for work force, to state that only such and such a group of persons will be considered. It is not legal to ask for only men to apply, or women, or JWs, or atheists, or married, or whatever. The thing referred to in the mentioned article, probably is the Polish firm which did such a thing a couple of years ago. How the labour legislation in the Eastern European countries are, I do not know, but in the vast majority of European countries, it would not be allowed. But please note, that the article no way says such a thing is an approvable thing to do, it just states what a company did. As far as I recall, the Polish company had to abandon the atempt, because labour organisations protested, but I am not 100 % sure about that. Anyway, to sum it up, adverts as that are illegal in almost all countries here, but the article just what told what a company had done because of positive experiences with JWs in the work force.

  • Designer Stubble
    Designer Stubble

    In most European countries, legal action is not taken - and if it is, this is occasional and nothing compared to the States. One of the reasons is that the claims that can be made are very small - perhaps at the very most a few thousand dollars, which is likely not higher than the legal fees.

  • WTWizard

    This is what happens if you hire nothing but witlesses:

    First, they are likely to end up wasting lots of time discussing theocraptic matters. I have seen these sessions wasting hours of time when the department I worked around tried that stunt. Thsy start having crew meetings for personal matters, threatening judicial action as well as getting in trouble with the company. If the whole company is all witlesses, there are no checks and balances to make sure personal preference matters are not treated as job performance matters.

    I have also seen the trouble around the a$$emblies. What usually happens is half of the crew has their a$$embly one weekend, and the other half has it the next. If there is one worldly person still around, that is the one that gets stuck working that weekend--especially if it happens to be a holiday weekend.

    Speaking of holidays, what happens if you have a whole department of witlesses, and part of the job is to set up Christmas decorations? You have the general manager wanting them up, and someone is now going to have to set them up. If they are all witlesses, no one is going to want to do the job. Eventually someone is going to get "volunteered", usually the department manager, and if it still doesn't get done, someone (or the whole crew) will end up getting fired. Plus, they are going to waste huge amounts of time arguing about whose going to touch those "unclean things" that could have been used to just set the damn things up and get it out of the way.

    That is a major reason why I would never hire a crew of witlesses. In fact, I would be upfront at the interview that the job may include setting up Christmas decorations (or, if my business is setting them up, that they will have to set them up). At which point, if they can't or won't do it because of their religion, they should just discontinue the process because I don't want to hire a witless or militant Muslim, only to find out that they can't or won't do the job and then get pxxxed when they get fired for not doing their job.

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