WTBTS – assistance following an incident at bethel
I spent 5 years at Bethel.
I know of many who were "encouraged to pursue other kingdom activities" (ie asked to leave Bethel) if they became a liability because of sickness!
In fact, the expression was often used "Bethel is not a recovery centre or nursing home, it is a place of work"
Sadly too, no one ever seemed to question it! It was just normal to know that you would have to leave and fend for yourself if you became sick or injured and couldn't fulfil your "bethel service".
And of course, NO compensation payouts existed!
There was a woman who sued the WTS back in the early 2000s because of an injury she had while working at Bethel.
A 46-YEAR-OLD WOMAN who devoted her life to the Jehovah's Witnesses said she was forced to move from their Brooklyn compound after she was seriously injured while serving the church. But a judge's ruling this week that she is entitled to worker's compensation payments could end up costing the church millions of dollars. Brenda Upton and her husband, Michael, took a vow of poverty and moved to the Witnesses' Brooklyn headquarters in 1998 to work as chiropractors for other church members. She injured her spine while running to catch a bus at an upstate church compound later that year. "They take wonderful care of you up to a point, and then you're on your own," Upton said. "That's why we wound up going to court.
" She said she suffered debilitating nerve injuries that have left her barely able to carry a laundry basket. The church took care of her medical care until 2001, when she and her husband were asked to leave and were given a $79,000 stipend. But Workers' Compensation Law Judge Stephen Goldstein ruled Wednesday that Upton is entitled to $400 a week in workers' compensation payments. "I'm finding they were not religious volunteers," Goldstein said. "They were engaged, particularly Dr. Brenda Upton, in a number of work-like activities.
" The Witnesses vowed to appeal the ruling, saying Upton and the other 5,800 Witnesses who live and work in the church's New York operations are volunteers, not employees. But if the decision stands, the Witnesses - and other religious organizations - could potentially face millions of dollars in workers' compensation insurance premiums and payments, said church lawyer John Miller. "It'll pretty much put religious orders out of business," Miller said. "It would certainly impact whether we would ever want to continue operations" in New York. The church owns about 40 properties in downtown Brooklyn and has plans to build a huge new structure on a vacant lot. Miller would not speculate how the workers' compensation case would affect those plans. "We don't have a spiritual conflict," said Upton, who has moved with her husband to Washington State. "Our problem all along has been medical-legal. We are still active Jehovah's Witnesses.
I haven't been able to find out how that all turned out, but there is a thread on this forum that discusses the case:
(22 pages!!...I haven't read them all)
And then there is Spain. When the WTS was told that they had to pay pensions for the volunteer Bethel workers in Spain, the WTS just up and moved the printing to Germany.
I heard of someone getting repetitive injury syndrome or something like that from working in laundry. The person asked to get a different job and WTBS said no. WT did nothing, not even relieve them by letting them do a different job. They made the person keep doing the same repetitive task that gave them the problem. They went home eventually with no help from WT.
Thank you all for responding to my post and for the links to the other discussion threads covering this topic.
So she sleeps with just the covers....what? No pillow? :)
I heard a story of a brother who was killed in an accident on WT premises during construction in Germany. The family was under pressure not to seek any kind of compensation and they didn't.