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Friday, June 21, 2024 | Back issues
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What’s Love Got to Do With It?

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (CN) - A blood bank fired a worker for refusing to take a "Five Languages of Love Test," a "completely inappropriate and invasive test" written by a fundamentalist Baptist minister that has nothing to do with the job, the man claims in court.

Scottie Harris sued Interstate Blood Bank dba Knoxville Plasma in Knox County Chancery Court. He seeks damages for retaliation, wrongful firing and hostile workplace.

Harris was an assistant manager in his third year of employment for the blood bank when a supervisor ordered him to take a "Five Languages of Love Test" at a mandatory staff meeting in April, according to the lawsuit.

The test "contained inappropriate questions about the employees' intimate relationships with their partners" and was written by "fundamental Baptist minister" Gary Chapman, the complaint states.

"The 'test' asked offensive questions such as whether the plaintiff 'loved having sex with his partner,'" Harris says in the complaint.

After doing some research on Chapman, Harris says, he felt "that there was no legitimate business purpose for the test, and recognizing that he did not share the religious beliefs of the author of the test, the plaintiff raised concerns about the test. ... (H)e was nevertheless advised on several occasions by his supervisor and another co-worker that he needed to take the test," according to the complaint.

Harris says he refused to take the test "because Dr. Chapman's religious beliefs conflicted with the plaintiff's religious beliefs" and because "there was no legitimate business purpose for this test."

Though his boss, Candice Thompson, "responded that plaintiff's request would not be a problem, she immediately advised a co-worker that the plaintiff was 'a problem in the office' and her attitude toward the plaintiff became aggressive and hostile. Thompson quit speaking to him in the workplace," according to the complaint.

Thompson is not a defendant.

Twelve days after refusing to take the Love Test, Harris says, he was ordered to sign to written reprimands - the first he had received at the blood bank. He says he signed one "under protest" but refused to sign the second one until he was given more information a bout it. His supervisor, Thompson, then "became very hostile and advised the plaintiff that she would accept the plaintiff's resignation," according to the complaint.

When Harris "told her that he was not resigning," she booted him out of the office and told him not to come back. He was fired the next day, but "His separation notice stated falsely that the plaintiff quit his job," according to the complaint.

Larry Moss at Interstate Blood Bank's Memphis headquarters declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Harris seeks $100,000 in lost wages and benefits and $100,000 for embarrassment and humiliation.

He is represented by Pamela Reeves with Reeves & Herbert in Knoxville.

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