A Patriotic Tale About Jury Duty

     HOUSTON (CN) – A naturalized citizen “born under communism in the Soviet bloc,” who “relishes the freedom that comes with his American citizenship, just as he respects and abides by his civic obligations,” claims The Methodist Hospital fired him for refusing to lie his way out of jury duty, and for missing work to serve.

     Alexander Solntsev, who worked as an IT manager for the hospital, says he was “appalled” when his boss told him “to make up an excuse to avoid jury service.” He says his boss told him “that was his strategy whenever he was called for jury services.”
     But Solntsev says, “it is the duty of every citizen to serve on a jury when called,” so he refused to lie, and was selected for the jury on a criminal trial that lasted from July 7 to July 21, 2009.
     After the trial ended, his boss gave him the option of quitting or being fired, Solntsev says, and “explicitly linked his impending termination to the work absences occasioned by his jury service.”
     Solntsev refused to quit and was fired on Aug. 6, 2009, he says.
     He sued the hospital for wrongful termination in Harris County Court. Solntsev seeks no less than 1 year’s pay, and no more than 5 years’ wages in damages.
     He is represented by Andrew Golub.

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