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Post  ChefXenu on Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:10 pm

Chicago dentist to settle forced Scientology, harassment case


By James P. Miller | Tribune reporter
12:44 PM CST, January 13, 2009

A Chicago dentist has agreed to pay $462,500 to settle federal allegations that he violated U.S. discrimination laws by sexually harassing workers and by forcing employees who wanted to keep their jobs to submit to indoctrination in the tenets of Scientology.

The Chicago office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had filed a civil lawsuit against James L. Orrington in September 2007, asserting he had discriminated against 18 employees by subjecting them to sexual propositions, comments and improper touching. The suit also alleged that Orrington violated federal law by requiring workers "to engage in Scientology religious practices and learn about Scientology as conditions of their employment."

The suit, filed in Chicago federal court, also alleged that Orrington violated civil-rights law by firing or taking other retaliatory actions against some employees who had complained about his behavior.

A consent decree filed with the U.S. District court Tuesday calls for Orrington to pay $462,500 to the workers involved and enjoins him from further sexual or religious workplace discrimination.

A consent decree resolves a lawsuit, but doesn't include an admission of guilt by the defendant.

"The misconduct here was shameful combining sex, forced Scientology and putting people's jobs on the line and it was especially shameful because the person doing it was a medical professional who occupied a position of trust in his community," said EEOC regional attorney John Hendrickson.

Today, a few more details are added (emphasis mine):

Dentist settles sexual harassment case


January 14, 2009
by mike nolan, staff writer

A Southwest Side dentist will pay $462,500 to resolve accusations he sexually harassed female employees and required them to engage in Scientology practices, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Tuesday.

The EEOC had sued Dr. James L. Orrington in September 2007 on behalf of 10 former employees, including three who were fired by the doctor shortly after they complained to the commission.

Apart from being subjected to sexual propositions and touching on an almost-daily basis, the women were required to learn about Scientology to keep their jobs, attend Scientology seminars and watch videos in the dental office, 8244 S. Ashland Ave., according to the EEOC.

It said that when Orrington would give employees their paychecks, he would require them to write or recite formulas that Scientologists believe help people move from a lower to a higher state of mind.

The 10 former employees filed complaints in 2005 with the EEOC, which tried to settle the complaints with Orrington before filing the lawsuit.

Under a three-year consent decree filed Tuesday, the woman will share in the award and Orrington must hire an outside firm to receive and investigate any complaints of sexual harassment or religious discrimination, the EEOC said.

Scientology attorneys have certainly been kept busy lately.

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