Memphis, TN - Memphis, Light, Gas, & Water sued in federal court over allegations of religious discrimination, harassment & retaliation

by AndersonsInfo 23 Replies latest jw friends

  • under the radar
    under the radar

    Personally, I think political correctness under the guise of "religious accommodation" has gotten way out of hand. Stores have been forced to hire or pay off people who insist on wearing religious costumes that are completely opposite to the style of clothing they sell or the brand image they want to present. Some demand multiple prayer breaks at fixed times throughout the day that must be granted no matter how busy the store is at the time. Then they want special facilities like foot baths and prayer rooms where infidels dare not enter. Fork 'em all!

    If a person's religious practices are not compatible with working at a particular job under the same rules and conditions as any other worker, they should look for a different job and not seek to impose their superstitions on other workers or the employer. No one has any "right" to be hired into any particular job, especially if they think they are so special that the company and other employees have to adapt to their needs instead of the other way around.

    In this specific case, MLGW was not interfering with Mr. Small's being a Witness. They didn't tell him he couldn't go to meetings or out in service. Despite Mr. Small's efforts to portray it differently, Witnesses have no "religious obligation" to attend meetings at a specific Hall or go out in service at a specific time. They are encouraged to do so, but it is not a religious obligation in the sense that most people would define a religious obligation . No one is beheaded for going to a different congregation's meetings.

    There is no excuse for intentionally missing work or clocking in late without prior approval. It sure sounds like MLGW has bent over backwards to accommodate Mr. Small. Now it seems he wants to "stretch the envelope" and make the company kowtow to him even more.

    In my politically incorrect opinion, when a company, regardless of size, has a certain image they want to project or has a standard way of doing things that applies to all employees in a certain position, they should not have to make religious accommodations for anyone. I think it's arrogant and presumptuous for anyone to insist that they do so. My motto would be: If this job would conflict with your religious obligations, it's not the one for you.

  • blondie

    My question is whether there was another congregation near by with a different schedule he could have attended or a combination of the two congregations meetings?

    I have known jws that did that when their schedule changed, one even drove 70 miles one way to attend the weekend meetings; another switching over to a congregation that shared the KH but had a different evening meeting.

    Now if he insisted that he had to go the same congregation for all (and I can see some BOEs arbitrarily making that rule), he had a problem. One brother I knew had his BOE pull to that but he went the CO who applied his authority pointing out that jws had to make meeting adjustments when under curfew.

  • sparky1

    I think he needs some REAL legal advice:


    100 Watchtower Drive

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    Tel: 845-306-0700

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  • Hecce



    EEOC Wins Jury Verdict for Two Fired Customer Service Technicians

    JONESBORO, Ark. – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced a favorable jury verdict of $756,000 in a religious discrimination lawsuit brought against AT&T Inc. on behalf of two male customer service technicians who were suspended and fired for attending a Jehovah’s Witnesses Convention.

    The jury of nine women and three men awarded the two former employees, Jose Gonzalez and Glenn Owen (brothers-in-law), $296,000 in back pay and $460,000 in compensatory damages under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. During the four-day trial, the jury heard evidence that both men had submitted written requests to their manager in January 2005 for one day of leave to attend a religious observance that was scheduled for Friday, July 15, to Sunday, July 17, 2005. Both men testified that they had sincerely held religious beliefs that required them to attend the convention each year. Both men had attended the convention every year throughout their employment with AT&T -- Gonzalez worked at the company for more than eight years and Owen was employed there for nearly six years.

    Commenting on the case, in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Jonesboro Division (Case No. 3:06-cv-00176), before Judge Leon Holmes, former employee Joe Gonzalez said, “I am very pleased with the jury's verdict.” Glenn Owen added, “I'm glad that the justice system works and that the jury saw what was going on and corrected it.”

    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits religious discrimination and requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to employees’ and applicants’ sincerely held religious beliefs as long as this does not pose an undue hardship.

    “In this case, AT&T forced Mr. Gonzalez and Mr. Owen to choose between their religion and their job,” said Faye A. Williams, regional attorney for the EEOC Memphis District Office. “Title VII does not require that an employee make that choice in order to maintain gainful employment.”

    EEOC supervisory Trial Attorney William Cash, Jr., who tried the case with agency attorney Darin Tuggle, said, “Protecting the rights of employees to be free from religious discrimination is an important part of the EEOC’s mission.”

    Religious discrimination charge filings (allegations) reported to EEOC offices nationwide have substantially increased from 1,388 in Fiscal Year 1992 to 2,541 in FY 2006. The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at

  • Hecce

    AT&T Pays $1.3M In EEOC Religious Bias Suit - Law360

    Aug 3, 2009 - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which filed the ... seeking time off in July 2005 to attend a Jehovah's Witness conference.
  • blondie

    One sister's employer said that vacation requests had to be submitted by the end of the November before the next year. It was a time when the lists were not provided to the rank and file jw, let alone a sister. So she had to select 3 weeks during the summer, hoping you would at least pick one near where she lived. One year she hit Iowa, and the next Michigan (closest locations to where she lived). So that's what she did, went to one 400 miles away rather than just down the road.

    Some jws feel that they have to go to the "assigned" one but many jws do what is convenient for themselves. I doubt that he could not get off for the convention but more rather the one his congregation was assigned to.

    I do not doubt that after he was legitimately assigned a disabled category, that he might have been harassed about meetings and conventions.

    We don't have all the details, even if we have the court notes.

  • StephaneLaliberte

    Blondie: I have also seen brothers work and attend two different congregations. Its not a big deal. The only thing though is that it would be difficult for them to have privileges. And yet, I remember of a brother that was a MS and we all accommodated with his schedule.

  • blondie

    Privileges, yes, that was probably the carrot taken away from this brother. It's a control measure.

  • Hecce

    The law on this is very clear and is the same of all religions, when the case is deemed worthy of a suit the employee will prevail most of the time.


    Everything WingCommander said!.....kpop

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