Hobby Lobby alleged to have fired pregnant employee who requested time off to give birth

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hobby_lobby_founders-620x412Hobby Lobby has always contended that even though it won’t provide employees with comprehensive contraceptive coverage, it really is a very nice place to work because it goes the extra mile for employees. But according to a report from RH Reality Check, the company may have fired a pregnant employee after she requested time off to give birth to her child, even after reassuring her that her job would be waiting for her when she was ready to come back.

“They didn’t even want me to come back after having my baby, to provide for it,” Felicia Allen told reporter Sofia Resinick. Allen started as a part-time cashier at Hobby Lobby in 2010, and found out she was pregnant not too long after she started. She said she asked her supervisor if her job would be safe even though she hadn’t been working at the chain long enough to qualify for the Family Medical Leave Act.

“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 told RH Reality Check. “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.”

When Allen was ready to have her child, she was fired. She said she tried to come back three weeks after she gave birth, but wasn’t rehired like she was assured she would be. “I was like, I can’t get fired,” Allen said. “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.’”

In addition to being misled about being able to return to her job, Allen said Hobby Lobby fought her on unemployment benefits. According to Allen, the company said she could have taken personal leave but opted not to. Allen eventually won her claim, but she left her experience at Hobby Lobby feeling that the company had discriminated against her because of her pregnancy.

And, as Resinick points out, Allen couldn’t file a legal challenge after all of this because, like most Hobby Lobby employees, she had signed a piece of paper giving away her right to sue. Instead, most if not all matters are settled outside of court in arbitration:

In a phone interview, [Alex Colvin, a professor of conflict resolution at Cornell University and an expert on employment arbitration] told RH Reality Check that corporations generally institute an arbitration-only policy out of fear of widespread lawsuits and to keep information on disputes out of the public eye.

“I think it’s an interesting confluence here with Hobby Lobby being in the news with that big case, but if that were an employment case where an employee wanted to make a claim, we would never see that case at the Supreme Court because it would be stayed in arbitration,” Colvin said. “So, ironically, Hobby Lobby gets to go to the Supreme Court because they want to challenge this, but their own employees don’t get to go to court.”

According to federal court records, over the years, several employees have filed job discrimination lawsuits against Hobby Lobby claiming age, disability, race, and sex discrimination—which is common for many corporations. But due to the fact that Hobby Lobby avoids lawsuits and the fact that little information about arbitration cases is made public, it’s difficult to evaluate the company’s treatment of its employees beyond its assurances that they are paid above minimum wage and well taken care of.

In a promotional video on the Hobby Lobby website, company president Steve Green explained how he doesn’t leave his pro-family Christian principles at the door when it comes to running his company. “Well, the beliefs that we’ve had — that we have grown up with all our lives — are convictions that we have that we live by personally,” he said. “And as we have ran our business we feel the obligation or the desire that we want to use those same principles within our business. It would not be consistent for us to live one way at home and then accept a different way at work. That would be inconsistent with our faith.”

Hobby Lobby has not yet responded to a request for comment, but one wonders how the Green family feels this story of alleged discrimination against a new mother reflects on those principles.

Man Sues Hospital Claiming Penis Amputated Instead of Circumcised

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scalpel-558x279An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Johnny Lee Banks Jr., 56, said in a lawsuit filed in state court earlier this week that no one at the Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama, had told him why it had been necessary to remove his penis, according to his attorney, John Graves.

“My client is devastated,” Graves said.

Banks, who is married and does not work due to a disability, did not recall the precise date of the incident but believed it occurred in June, his attorney said.

The lawsuit does not specify a monetary value of the damages, Graves said.

Named as defendants in the lawsuit are the hospital, the Simon-Williamson Clinic, Urology Centers of Alabama and two doctors, Graves said.

Spokeswomen for the hospital, the clinic and Urology Centers of Alabama did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Dominatrix and friends ‘scrubbed man’s face with toilet brush and forced him to wear women’s underwear’

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A dominatrix and two male friends are in court after scrubbing a man’s face with a toilet brush and forcing him to wear women’s underwear.

Man's naked terror at hands of dominatrixThe victim said he feared they would cut his penis off after having a knife held to his throat while his personal belongings were taken.

The man had previously paid prostitute and part time dominatrix, Sinead Nijjer, £50 for oral sex where he had pretended to be a semi-professional footballer and having a mortgage.

The unnamed victim, whose identity cannot be revealed for legal reasons, told Aylesbury Crown Court: ‘I wanted to impress her, I thought if I told her my real job she might think I was a loser.’

To escape the room, the trapped man pretended to experience breathing problems causing one of his assailants to call 999.

The group began to panic after the victim started faking breathing issues with one of the men apparently telling him: ‘I’m a Muslim too, after all this is finished we are going to go to the mosque together and forget all of this happened.

‘Just don’t die on me.’

The group of assailants included Nijjer, 20 from Aylesbury, 22-year-old Leam Ryan and Rico Awad, 21, from High Wycombe.

The defendants have all claimed they neither harmed the victim nor held him hostage.

Man Filed Restraining Order Against 5-Year-Old Accused Of Bullying His Daughter

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No-bully-zoneKENOSHA COUNTY, Wis. —A local father said he’s had enough, and he’s taken out a restraining order to protect his daughter from a kindergarten bully.

He said the school wasn’t doing enough.

“She came home and said a student threatened her by saying, ‘I want to slit your throat and watch you bleed,'” Brian Metzger said.

Metzger was talking about his kindergarten daughter being threatened and physically attacked by a 5-year-old classmate in a Kenosha County elementary school.

“The whole year she’s been dealing with it. There have been other students in the classroom who have been dealing with the same individual,” Metzger said.

The dad said the school’s failure to protect his daughter led him to take a more drastic step.

“I think they should have done something a lot sooner. They’ve kept him in the same classroom with my daughter throughout this until Wednesday morning because Tuesday night I showed up with a restraining order,” Metzger said.

The police report that details the accusations of bullying at Prairie Lane Elementary School says the kindergarten girl was kicked in the face, and had sand and rocks thrown at her.

“There’s always two sides to every story,” Kenosha Unified School District spokeswoman Tanya Ruder said.

Ruder said she couldn’t talk specifics, but WISN 12 News reporter Terry Sater asked what has to happen before a student is removed from a classroom.

“There’s not a set threshold of what causes or what would determine when a child is moved out of a classroom,” Ruder said.

Metzger said his little girl who used to love kindergarten now doesn’t want to go to school.

“What they’re doing, their policies aren’t good enough,” Metzger said.

A hearing on the restraining order is set for Tuesday.

Metzger said he will keep fighting to get the bully removed from his daughter’s school.

Lawsuit: NYPD keeps asking to see my dead husband

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A family is suing the city of New York for repeated raids of their Brooklyn home by the NYPD, reports the New York Post. With each raid, authorities allegedly turn over the home while grilling the family as to the whereabouts of James Jordan Sr. – a man who the newspaper says has been dead since 2006.

“I tell them over and over, ‘James isn’t here! He’s dead! It’s that simple. What’s so difficult to understand about that?,'” Jordan’s widow, Karen, told the paper on Monday. She has filed a lawsuit against the city in Brooklyn federal court.

The Post reports that James Jordan Sr. has been dead for eight years, but that hasn’t stopped cops from barging into his family’s home more than a dozen times since 2006. The former security guard – who died from diabetes at age 46 – had several arrests, the last one in 1996 for turnstile-jumping, according to his wife.

Karen Jordan told the paper that officers have ransacked her Brooklyn home four times this year alone, always demanding to see her dead husband.

Exasperated, the widow finally just taped his death certificate to the door, the Post reports.

“I wanted it to be the first thing they saw before they came into my home and flipped it upside down,” she said. “I can’t hide anyone in my apartment. It’s not big enough for that. But they keep coming and insisting that he’s in my house.”

According to the newspaper, law-enforcement sources said James Jordan Sr. had three sealed arrests in 1996. Karen Jordan doesn’t understand how her husband’s distant criminal history could be causing the raids.

“[The police] will tell me to be quiet or they’ll lock me up,” Karen told the Post. “So they go through my entire house, turning out drawers, looking in closets, harassing my children and asking them (sic) terrible questions…. I’m at my wit’s end.”

The Jordans’ son, 31-year-old James Jr., said that he was arrested last July when officers rushed into the apartment and he told them his name, the paper reports.

“I told them that my father was gone. They just didn’t believe me. When they came in, they came in like a riot team. It was like a raid. Six officers rushed into the apartment and woke me up.”

In the lawsuit, family lawyer Ugo Uzoh says that Jordan Jr. and a friend were hit with weapons-possession charges that were later dropped and that he has no other criminal history.

The Post says requests for comment from the city’s Law Department were declined.

“My dad’s spirit is here,” Jordan Jr. told the paper. “But you can’t arrest his spirit. I just want my dad to rest in peace. Even when you’re dead, you still get harassed.”

Ohio man sues 40 of his neighbors, totally can’t understand why they’re terrorizing him with horn honks

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977384-6-20140502090601Here’s a phrase you never thought you’d read: Per ABC News, there’s “a vast conspiracy of horn honking” going on in Hubbard, Ohio, and one man says he’s had quite enough. “In the beginning, it was 100 times a day,” says Rick Krlich, who explains drivers have been honking their horns as they drive past his house so often—some 5,000 times over the last seven years—he “can tell an import horn from a domestic horn.” According to Krlich, the honking started when he sued the town’s then-fire chief in an attempt to buy the house next door, which had been in John Clemente’s family for generations.

Krlich failed, Clemente moved in, and the horn-honking started, at Clemente’s urging, Krlich alleges. But Clemente says he never instigated the honks—though his son’s friends do honk as a means of saying goodbye. Krlich went on to train surveillance cameras on the street, and says he has caught a fireman and a police officer blaring their horns. (He has also started a website proclaiming it a case of “small town terrorism.”) Now, he’s suing at least 40 alleged honkers. Says Clemente’s wife, “Just a regular beep or just to beep at the neighbors across the street, he’ll take you to court.” ABC will have more on the case on tonight’s 20/20; it notes it invited the whole town to a “Peace and Reconciliation Barbecue.” Vindy.com talked to attendees, who didn’t report much in the way of reconciliation.

23-Year-Old Sues Dentist For Allegedly Pulling Out All His Perfectly Healthy Teeth

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A Missouri man is suing his dentist for allegedly pulling out all 32 of his teeth for no reason.

dentist_featuredSkyler A. King, 23, claims he visited a Clayton dentist about an abscess and was told he had to extract all his teeth because he was at risk of fatal blood clotting.

King says Mark D. Meyers DDS, dba Eat Right Dentures/Same Day Dentures, told him all his teeth would have to come out, according to the suit filed in St. Louis County Court April 17.

“May 8, 2009, plaintiff returned to defendant’s office as directed by defendant and a panoramic X-ray was taken,” the complaint states. “That after viewing the panoramic X-ray and determining from plaintiff’s mother that she had a credit card which would pay defendant’s stated charges of $5,235.00, and then charging said amount to the card, defendant extracted all thirty two (32) of plaintiff’s teeth.”

But King says he later learned those teeth were recoverable and the abscess treatable.

“That plaintiff has subsequently learned that the X-ray showed that plaintiff had at least twenty-eight (28) recoverable teeth imbedded in good bone and gums with a few fillings; and that one of said teeth, the lower right first molar, had a treatable abscess,” the suit states.

King first sued Meyers in 2010, but the case was dismissed.

In an interview with Courthouse News, King’s new attorney, John S. Wallach, said the dentist told a deposition in the previous filing that King had asked him to take out all his teeth.

“The question here is reasonability,” Wallach said. “What 23-year-old would want all of their teeth pulled when they know they have teeth in good condition? Who would do that?”

Furthermore, he says Meyers pulled King’s teeth before he even did an X-ray.

“Dr. Meyers didn’t take an X-ray of Skyler’s mouth until he returned the next day to have his teeth pulled,” Wallach said. “Dr. Meyers already made a determination to have the teeth pulled without the benefit of an X-ray.”

The plaintiff has since been fitted for dentures, but he says they don’t fit properly. He is forced to remain toothless because he says he cannot afford new dentures.

King seeks punitive damages for physical and emotional trauma.

An autistic Indiana man reported a similar story last year. Christopher Crist, 21, said he walked into Amazing Family Dental in Indianapolis to get three teeth removed. He walked out with none, Huffington Post reported.