There are employment laws in place which are meant to prevent discriminatory practices in the workplace. Expert lawyers such as Tayeb Hyderally work with many different organizations to ensure that employees and employers are aware of the laws that were enacted to protect workers. Ty Hyderally travels extensively working with a wide variety of organizations, PR personnel and businesses to inform them how to maintain a workplace that remains free from discrimination. As an expert in employment law, he also provides information on what to do if you believe a discriminatory act has occurred in the workplace. Mr. Hyderally also informs staff members about how to identify and protect themselves from retaliation in cases where discrimination is reported. Of all the places we would think would be free from discriminatory practices religious organizations seem to be one of the most likely. However, in this case we find that a religious organization can also engage in age discrimination similarly to other employers.
Horst Brandt VS Trinity Broadcasting Network
Horst Brandt was in charge of TBN’s computer systems. He was hired as an independent contractor instead of a regular employee although he worked full time for the religious organization. This was reportedly a less expensive way for TBN to keep Brandt on board. However, there were many slurs about Brandt’s German heritage and discriminatory remarks made about his age. It was alleged that there were statements made such as, “Horst runs his department like Nazi Germany during World War II.”
Filing the Age Discrimination Suit
Brandt filed a claim against TBN which stated he had been discriminated against based on his age. He was subjected to repeated remarks about their “older workers.” In the meeting where Brandt found out about his termination Crouch Jr. stated that “Paul Crouch, Sr. and Ruth Brown are getting up there in age too.” After terminating Horst Brandt, Crouch Jr. reportedly told a vendor that “there are some older people here and it is time for a change.” He also stated that Ruth Brown who was TBN’s Chief Financial Officer was “getting up there in age and should find something else to do.” The building that Brandt worked in was frequently referred to as the “old folk’s home” and Brandt was often referred to as “an old dinosaur.”
More Problems for TBN
It is also alleged that TBN’s senior officials told Brittany Koper to implement “alternative reforms.” Brittany Koper was head of the human resources at TBN and her grandfather, Paul Crouch Sr. is the founder and CEO of TBN. Crouch allegedly told Koper to update the age report on TBN’s workers. She was then instructed to fire anyone over 65 years old because there were “too old, too sick and too lazy.” Crouch Sr. began a campaign to move older workers to part time employment and tried to force some into retirement. Anyone over 80 were placed automatically at a part-time status.
Brandt and TBN reached a settlement agreement in court. However, due to the nature and saturation of alleged age discrimination it appears that there could possibly be a class action lawsuit against the religious employer in the near future.