Fired Woman Denies CEO's Claim That 'Hostile' Fetus Had a 'Negative Agenda'
(CN) - A woman says Hearthstone Homes' CEO fired her after claiming that her fetus had a "negative agenda" and was "'hostile' towards him." The former executive assistant claims in Omaha Federal Court that Hearthstone CEO John Smith consulted with psychics about the "negative energy" he felt from her fetus, which reminded him of his own unpleasant experience in the womb, and then gave her the ax.
Jammie Harms says that throughout her employment with Hearthstone, Smith and other managers pushed a spiritual and religious atmosphere in the workplace "based on concepts incorporating universal energy, concepts of reincarnation, and intuitive spiritualism." Harms says that Smith shared his beliefs that past lives determine current behaviors.
Harms says she played along with the company's spiritual and religious practices in order to keep her job, though she did not "fully embrace" the religion.
Harms claims that in March 2009, after she told Smith that she was pregnant, he warned her to be cautious, and said he had been traumatized while in his mother's womb when she had a sexual affair with another man.
Harms claims her boss told her, "Babies can remember things in the womb."
She claims Smith also made rude comments to her, such as, "Are you hormonal today?" and, "You look like you've been rode hard and put away wet."
Harms claims that in the morning of April 16, 2009, she was called into a meeting with Smith and two managers to discuss her "disconnect" with her unborn child.
One manager described the fetus as "two magnets on opposite ends repelling one another," and the other called her pregnancy a "miss," she says.
Later that afternoon, Harms says, Smith consulted a psychic because Harms had cut her hair short and gained 15 to 20 pounds while pregnant. She says Smith was concerned there was "negative energy" being created because Harms had a male boss instead of a female boss.
Harms claims that about a week later, Smith called a chiropractor and "self-described energy worker" in order to hash out his "mother issues and how [Harms'] pregnancy was bringing up very negative energy relating to his own experience" in the womb.
Smith told the "energy worker" that he believed Harms' baby had a "negative agenda," Harms says.
She claims that the "energy worker" told Smith that the baby had a past life with him and then asked him to "partner with the baby."
Harms says that Smith replied that "his whole system said no to being partners" with the fetus and that the baby's "energy 'is hostile' towards him."
Harms says that Smith traveled throughout May, then fired her when he returned in early June, when she was 5 months pregnant.
In an 8th Circuit ruling from 2007, another ex-employee of Hearthstone Homes was awarded $1 in damages after suing the company for religious discrimination. Doyle Ollis Jr. claimed he was fired after objecting to spiritual activities in the workplace that differed with his own religious beliefs. Ollis later was awarded attorney's fees and costs, according to the Missouri Bar Bulletin.
Harms demands back pay, reinstatement and punitive damages from Hearthstone Homes for religious, gender and pregnancy discrimination.
She is represented by Douglas Peterson with Keating, O'Gara, Nedved & Peter.