Dispute Over Attendance at Scientology Event Heads to Arbitration
A former employer has filed a lawsuit against a Pasadena company after she alleges she was fired for not participating in Scientology classes while on-the-job. The case is now headed to arbitration in hopes of settling the issue for both sides without litigation.
The attorneys representing the company, Lusida Rubber Products Inc., argue the judge should dismiss the lawsuit because it was in direct violation of the mandatory arbitration provision in the employment agreement employees are required to sign as a condition of employment. According to the attorneys, “[the former employee] should be prohibited from using this improperly filed lawsuit as a vehicle to publicize her wrongful employment related accusations…”
The attorneys believe the language in the contract regarding the agreement to arbitrate disputes was clear and detailed and that she was provided with an opportunity to consult an attorney before she chose to sign. She worked for the company from June 2014 until December 2014 as a customer service representative.
The lawsuit, filed in December 2015 in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges wrongful termination based on the events, but also religious discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and failure to prevent religious discrimination. She is seeking unspecified damages, as well as an injunction against the company for requiring employees to attend the Scientology lessons.
According to the statement, the company began requiring all employees to attend a 30 minute Scientology class during work hours. The class was based on the teachings of Church of Scientology leader the late L. Ron Hubbard. The employee reported feeling “pressured and brainwashed” after attending and learning about beliefs and methodologies that were not in line with her existing faith.