Georgia Factory Worker Sues After Being Fired for Refusal to Wear ’666′

By Greg Bluestein | November 21, 2011

A Georgia factory worker claims in a federal lawsuit that he was fired after he refused to wear a `666′ sticker he feared would doom him to eternal damnation.

Billy E. Hyatt claims he was fired from Pliant Corp., a plastics factory in northern Georgia, after he refused to wear a sticker proclaiming that his factory had been accident-free for 666 days.

That number is considered the “mark of the beast” in the Bible’s Book of Revelation describing the apocalypse.

Hyatt, who said he’s a devout Christian, had worked for the north Georgia plastics company since June 2007 and like other employees wore stickers each day that proclaimed how long the factory had gone without an accident.

But he grew nervous in early 2009 as the number of accident-free days crept into the 600s. As the company’s safety calendar approached day 666, Hyatt said he approached a manager and explained that wearing it would force him “to accept the mark of the beast and to be condemned to hell.” He said the manager assured him he wouldn’t have to wear the number.

When the day came on March 12, 2009, Hyatt sought a manager to discuss his request. He said he was told that his beliefs were “ridiculous” and that he should wear the sticker or serve a three-day suspension.

Hyatt took the three-day suspension, and was fired at a human resources meeting several days later.

He then filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and his attorney Stephen Mixon said the agency granted him the right to sue the company in August.

The lawsuit, which seeks punitive damages and back pay, said the company forced him into a terrible situation: Keep his job or “abandon his religious beliefs.”

The company, now known as Berry Plastics Corp., did not return several calls and emails seeking comment. It has yet to respond to the complaint in court.

 

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Latest Comments

  • November 28, 2011 at 3:25 pm
    Frank Carta says:
    What does the United States government have to do with a person's Christian beliefs? He will not wear the number 666 and that is what this is about. It is not about the Declar... read more
  • November 28, 2011 at 3:18 pm
    Frank Carta says:
    It is amazing how stupid and weak the managers are at Berry Plastics in Georgia! Why not make a pin that says the number of months and days? I guess that would be too simple. ... read more
  • November 28, 2011 at 3:13 pm
    hmmmmm says:
    Exadjuster - your phone number isn't 666 it is an area code, with three numbers and then four numbers. Therefore you are not showing the sign or symbol of satan. In regards ... read more
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