The religious are 2nd class citizens at Trader Joe’s
Don’t comply: When Trader Joe’s instituted a rule requiring all managers to get the COVID shots, Greg Crawford , a manager there for 26 years, instead got the company to grant him a religious exemption.
The company’s upper management however then banned him from all management meetings, essentially crippling his ability to do his job.
[T]he grocery store’s regional manager informed Crawford that only vaccinated employees would be permitted to attend a required Leader’s Meeting in August; failure to attend the meeting would negatively affect Crawford’s performance review.
The manager also told Crawford that this was a decision by company President and that “There was nothing further to discuss.” The company was essentially penalizing Crawford for his religious beliefs. Under this arrangement, he had no future with the company and would soon either be forced to resign or be fired.
Crawford did not back down, however. Instead, he contacted the non-profit Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), which specializes in defending those whose civil liberties are being violated. The institute had a staff attorney send a letter to Trader Joe’s, pointing out that the company’s actions were discriminatory and that there were numerous ways it could accommodate Crawford, either by getting him tested just prior to the meeting or by attending remotely.
The response? Trader Joe’s immediately fired Crawford for going outside the company to obtain legal help and for taking an “adversarial perspective.” The company claimed he should have pursued the issue from within the company, even though he had already been told that the matter was settled and no further discussion by them would be considered.
PJI is now suing Trader Joe’s on behalf of Crawford, demanding “back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, costs of suit, a declaration that Defendant violated his rights.” You can read their complaint here [pdf]
Whether Crawford will win his case is of course unknown. The important thing is that he is fighting back. His action will make Trader Joe’s think twice about doing the same thing again to some other employee. The publicity will also harm them, and might also make other companies hesitate before also acting like jackbooted thugs.
Lawsuits like this must happen, again and again and again and again. The control freaks who can’t tolerate dissent and are now willing to literally destroy those who disagree with them must begin to feel real pain for their narrow-minded and oppressive behavior. Only some hard pushback will get them to stop, and allow everyone else to finally go back to freely pursing happiness, as each of us chooses to do so. This freedom is the fundamental component of American life, and these vaccine brownshirts are trying to destroy it.
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