Suit alleges firing over ‘666’ sticker
ATLANTA — 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 Dalton, 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.
Hyatt says he grew nervous in early 2009 as the number of accident-free days crept into the 600s. Hyatt said he approached a manager and was assured that he wouldn’t have to wear the number.
When the day came 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 suspension and was fired days later.
The company, now Berry Plastics Corp., has yet to respond in court.
Immigrant detention center draws rally
ATLANTA — A year ago, Pedro Guzman was in a federal detention center in southwest Georgia as his wife, mother-in-law and young son joined an annual vigil at the gate. This year, he was outside for Friday’s rally.
Guzman, a Guatemalan native brought to the U.S. when he was 8, spent 18 months in the Stewart Detention Facility before his release six months ago. He’s now a legal permanent resident.
It was the fifth annual vigil organized by Georgia Detention Watch, a coalition of civil liberties and immigrant rights groups. The vigil focused on the impact of detention on the families of detainees, especially children. Organizers also protest the remote location of many immigration detention centers, far from advocates and lawyers, said Azadeh Shahshahani, of the ACLU of Georgia.