Any legal eagles out there have any thoughts on the potential success of a class action lawsuit against the WatchTower for their written corporate policy on the treatment of disfellowshipped people? Does their policy fall under religious discrimination as outlined in Title 7 of the Federal Anti-Discrimination statues? I am sure there are many DF'd people who have lost jobs and housing and suffered mental anguish as a result of the restrictions of interacting with loves ones and family members. I am new to this forum and this may have already been discussed. Please educate me. Maverick
Disfellowshiping and Title 7
I don't think it's been discussed, although nearly 'bout (southernism) everything else has.
I know I've suffered, O how I have suffered as a result of my association with the JWs and being shunned and having my head packed with male bovine fecal material. And a bunch of other stuff.
Remember Big Tobacco? Lawyers tried to find a crack in the wall of legal theory that protected them for decades. Everyone thought it couldn't be done. Well, look at 'em now.
Same will happen to the JWs just as soon as society decides it has had enough of the pedophilia, lies, false prophecy, etc. that issues from Society Headquartes, Broklynn, like a river of liquid shit. Some judge somewhere will correctly sniff the social winds and find the WT infragrant and we'll be off to the races, and not a millisecond too soon.
Consider this information:
Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants and employees on the basis of race or color, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth and national origin (including membership in a Native American tribe). It also prohibits employers from retaliating against an applicant or employee who asserts his or her rights under the law. For example, an employer cannot fire someone for complaining about race discrimination.
Title VII's prohibition against discrimination applies to all terms, conditions and privileges of employment, including: hiring, firing, compensation, benefits, job assignments, shift assignments, promotions and discipline.
Title VII also prohibits employer practices that seem neutral but have a disproportionate impact on a protected group of people. A practice is only legal if the employer has a valid reason for using it. For example, height and weight requirements might be legal -- even though they exclude a lot of women and a lot of people of Asian descent -- if an employer is using them to fill, say, a job in the logging industry. They would not be valid for a desk job, however.
Title VII's Prohibition on Harassment
Title VII makes it illegal to harass someone because of the person's race or color, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth and national origin (including membership in a Native American tribe).
The most common type of harassment that is prohibited by Title VII is sexual harassment.
Discrimination Allowed by Title VII
In a very narrow exception, Title VII allows an employer to discriminate on the basis of religion, sex or national origin (but never race) if the characteristic is something intrinsic to the job. In legal terms, this exception is called a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exception.
Employers Subject to Title VII
Title VII only applies to employers that fit into the following categories:
- private employers with 15 or more employees
- state governments and their political subdivisions and agencies
- the federal government
- employment agencies
- labor organizations, and
- joint labor-management committees and other training programs.
All of this has nothing to do with the WTS. Even it may not technically have "employees" and certainly JWS that are DF'd would not qualify as employees unless they were already under the definition prior to beind DF'd.
In any case this federal statute and related others and similar others are simply not applicable to the ecclesiastical situation of DF'ng.
Having said all of that, there MAY be an individual application on a case by case basis under certain facts.
Imagine that a brother OWNED a (qualifying) business. You have either been DF'd or DA'd yourself and move to his town. You go to apply at his business and you are hired on Monday and start work. You go to the local KH the following Sunday and lo and behold there is your employer, who soon learns that you are DF'd.
He calls you that evening and tells you not to come into work the next day. You're fired.
In such an event then you may well have a claim under Title VII that you are being discriminated against on the basis of religion.
Similarly and more difficult to prove would be if at the initial job interview you see the Gorgeous :-) 2003 WTS Calendar on his wall and inquire if he is a JW, you then volunteer that you are DF'd and the he tells you that you don't get the job. IN that event you would have the difficult burden of proving that a religious bias was not the sole basis of your not getting the job. If he can articulate any other basis you would probably be out of luck.
In each of these events, most LIKELY the religious exception in the Act would probably NOT APPLY. The religious exception accepted by the court only applies in a situation where the religious issue is "intrinsic" to the employment itself.
So for example, let us say that a kid at bethel is considered an "employee" under the act (doubtful) and gets DF'd and "fired" sent home. In that case the Act would probably not apply (i.e. the "exception is applied) since it is the nature of the job itself that one must be a JW in good standing to "work" at Bethel.
But in our example above, the brother's business involves janitorial work lets say. IN that case the exception does not apply, i.e. the Act would apply, since the nature of the work has nothing to do with religion and therefore discrimination on a religious basis would not be permitted.
Again these examples may apply on a case by case basis to individual qualifying employers, but the action of DF'ing itself is not going to impact the WTS itself.
PS: why am I a "newbie"? I used to be a contender!
Never been a JW and I don't know about Title 7, but from the numerous posts I've read over the past two years it seems to me that the number of suicides and family breakups alone would make a huge issue for the mainstream media if the word got out like the pedophile problem..... it's totally 'unbelieveable' ... and maybe that's part of the problem.
My understanding is that there have been ex-Witnesses who have tried suing the Society for disfellowshipping them, but they've lost. The courts still recognize a religions right to "shun" members if they deem it necessary. In some cases, I would even agree. I believe that anyone who claims to be a "Christian" (of any Faith) who is a pedophile, or a murderer or a robber, can and should be disfellowshipped so that they cannot have contact with others. Unfortunately, these seem to be the very ones that Brooklyn protects.
However, the majority of disfellowshippings that seem to be happening are because members of the faith openly question doctrines, and those responsible for them, as well as reporting pedophiles to the police instead of hushing it all up. This should NOT be allowed and I think maybe it's time to start writing either our MPs or your Mayor, Congressman or anyone else in politics and explain to them that people are committing suicide, suffer from severe depression and lose all contact with their own flesh and blood because they are doing what they are required by law: reporting crimes and as a result, they are cut off from everything they've ever known.
Maybe this is the first time a religion has shunned it's members for such insane reasons, and I think if they got enough complaints, they might be willing to do something about it.
I want to thank Oroborus 21 for the information on TitleVII. My older brother is a retired Police Chief and I had sent him a copy of my Baptism Nullification letter and he asked me this question this morning. I posted the same question on channelc so I will refer the interested ones to your comments. I was sure someone must have thought about this angle before but I didn't have a ready answer. I would like to knock a hole in the Df'ing and DA'ing policies of the GB. I believe once this is done their hold on the minds of the membership will be greatly reduced. But I am a dreamer I guess! Yours, Maverick
What amazes me is that people ALLOW the witnesses to control their lives AFTER they are DF'd. It would be their choice if they allowed this to result in their loss of work or housing because they chose to remove themselves from an environment that contained other witnesses.
Dude, if you aren't one anymore why would you allow them to continue to control you??!! If you were fired from a job would you still take orders from your former boss??!! Would you allow him to control where you lived so you wouldn't mingle with his other employees? Or would you tell him where to stick it? It's common sense!!!