A lawsuit has been filed against the Hampton Inn & Suites of Hazard after a man said that, while he was employed at the hotel, the manager attempted to force him into an exorcism and punished him when he refused.
According to the lawsuit filed in Perry Circuit Court, Jason Fields of Leslie County began working for Hampton Inn & Suites in or around June of 2016.
Fields was hired to the position of front desk on second shift. Fields claims that, while employed at the hotel, the manager of the Hampton Inn & Suites, Sharon Lindon, discovered that Fields was going through and divorce and alleges that Lindon told field the reason for his divorce was that he had demons. Lindon informed Fields she was a member of the Common Bond Christian Fellowship Ministries, in Hazard, that she had been ‘cleansed’ three or four times and that it was similar to an exorcism. Court documents say Lindon told Fields that if he were going to work for her he would have to be cleansed as well.
Fields alleges Lindon gave him a packet that was to be completed and turned back in to her. The lawsuit said the packet contained a page of instructions, three pages containing a release and indemnity agreement and nine pages of questions. The packed was printed on red construction paper and, the lawsuit said, featured many inappropriate and personal questions that would not be relevant to employees.
The questions in the packet, the lawsuit said, included several personal questions, some of which were of a sexual nature.
One question, the lawsuit said, about family members being involved in cults listed several options that were meant to be circled if Fields’ family had any involvement with them. The options listed as cults in the packet were Christian Science, Jehovah’s Witness, Unification Church, Children of Love, Buddhism, Native Religions, Mormonism and Islam. The packet, the lawsuit said, also asked Fields if he or any close family belonged to organizations such as Masonic lodges, or other fraternal organizations.
Lindon, the lawsuit said, told Fields that once he had finished the questionnaire he had to meet her at the church to have a cleansing.
The lawsuit Fields initially didn’t fill out the packet but received pressure from Lindon to keep his job and eventually completed it. Fields did not turn the packet into Lindon due to its personal nature and refused to participate in the exorcism, the lawsuit said.
Fields, the lawsuit said, still has the form and will produce it. After Fields had refused, he claims in the lawsuit, his shift was changed, he was not allowed to take his days off, was threatened daily concerning the loss of his job and did not receive a raise.
The lawsuit said that, on at least three different occasions, Lindon brought individuals from her church to the Hampton Inn & Suites Lobby to pray for Fields. Documents allege that Fields was not a willing participant in this and was embarrassed that it was done in front of guests and employees.
Fields, the lawsuit said, indicated that he wanted to speak with the owners to report the issues that were ongoing at work. Fields, the lawsuit said, was told that he was not allowed to contact them and any attempt to do so would result in him being immediately fired. Eventually Fields left his position.