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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

 
Christian charity

by digby

When they say you're supposed to keep your legs closed, they mean it:
In a phone interview with RH Reality Check, Allen, now 32, said she was stunned when her supervisor at the Hobby Lobby store in Flowood, Mississippi, told her she would be terminated for taking unpaid time off to have her baby.

Allen had been hired as a part-time cashier in late July 2010. Shortly after starting the job, she learned she was four months’ pregnant with her third child. Because she had not been working for very long, Allen did not qualify for leave under the federal Family Medical Leave Act, which is what she said the Oklahoma City-based chain offers for maternity leave. Nervous, Allen went to her supervisor.

“I asked her would I lose my job due to me being four months and only having five months before I have my child. She told me ‘no,’” Allen said. “I felt like everything was OK. I had talked to my boss, and she let me know that everything would be OK. I would still have my job.”

But five months later, when the time came to take her leave of absence, Allen says her supervisor told her she would be terminated but could reapply later on. She says she tried to come back to work three weeks after her child was born, to no avail.

“I was like, I can’t get fired,” Allen recalls. “She can’t terminate me because I have to go have my child. I started asking everybody on the job, ‘Can they do this?’ And even the assistant manager who had just got hired [said,] ‘No, that’s not right.’”

Hobby Lobby did not respond to multiple requests to tell its side of the story or to answer questions about its maternity leave and other company policies.

When Allen applied for unemployment benefits, she says Hobby Lobby’s corporate office gave the unemployment agency a false version of events, claiming she could have taken off personal leave but chose not to. In the end, Allen says she won her claim for unemployment benefits, but she felt she had been wrongly discriminated based on the fact that she was pregnant. In February 2012 she sued Hobby Lobby, but her lawsuit was swiftly dropped because, like most—if not all—Hobby Lobby employees, Allen had signed away her rights to sue the company.

Though the multibillion-dollar, nearly 600-store chain took its legal claim against the federal government all the way to the Supreme Court when it didn’t want to honor the health insurance requirements of the Affordable Care Act, the company forbids its employees from seeking justice in the court of law.

It's not about the sweet little babies. It's about controlling the woman. These hyper conservatives also care about the bottom line. That's where the confluence of concern is among these people: money and control:

One thing that sets apart Hobby Lobby’s arbitration policy from most corporations is its allowance for Christian-influenced arbitration. The mutual arbitration agreement Allen signed gives employees the option of choosing to find an arbitrator either through the nonprofit American Arbitration Association (AAA)—the largest dispute-resolution service provider in the United States—or the Institute for Christian Conciliation (ICC).

The latter is run by a Billings, Montana-based nonprofit called Peacemaker Ministries and administers “Christian conciliation,” which is a form of religious arbitration described on its website as “a process for reconciling people and resolving disputes out of court in a biblical manner.” It’s a type of conflict resolution geared toward churches and Christian organizations. (Jewish and Muslim organizations use similar types of religious arbitration to handle disputes.)

Among the principles that drive Peacemaker Ministries is the idea that:
Generally, Christians are not free to sue other Christians, at least not until they have exhausted the process that Jesus sets forth in Matthew 18:15-20 and 1 Corinthians 6:1-8. God instructs Christians to resolve their disputes within the church itself, with the assistance of other Christians if necessary
Isn't that convenient?

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