Potters Field Appeals Wage Judgment, Claims Interns Were “Donors”
We stated that we expected that they would appeal…and what a twisted appeal they have filed.
According to documents filed by the Rozell’s legal counsel, the young people weren’t really employed all those hours for the “ministry”… they were donating time to God as “an act of worship”.
“Every “Intern” (a term of art used by Potter’s Field, not intended to be a legal definition as defined by the FLSA) came to Potter’s Field with an expression of desire to donate their time and energies in service of God, through Potter’s Field. They didn’t come to serve Potter’s Field. They didn’t come to work in a stable or a burger joint or an art gallery. They came to serve God as an act of sacrifice and worship, in the same way that they would worship through the giving of their tithes and offerings (money). So we could legitimately call them Donor/Participants rather than “Interns” and it would be synonymous with their identity in relation to Potter’s Field. They volunteered as defined by the FLSA but their gift of time and service went well beyond that; it was literally a gift to God as an act of worship.”
“Therefore, Potter’s Field didn’t ask (redacted) to violate Section 39-3-208, MCA because Potter’s Field did not offer (redacted) employment. It offered (redacted) an opportunity to Donate his/her time and services, as an act of worship, as is his/her free exercise right of religion under the First Amendment to the US Constitution, and Article II, Section 5 of the Declaration of Rights as set forth under the Constitution of the State of Montana.”
It is on this basis that the Rozell’s claim they owe nothing in wages…they were just intermediaries receiving offerings for God while upholding the Constitution.
Additionally, the Rozell’s say that time should be docked from any claim because interns were required to spend an hour in “quiet time” every day, or as the Rozell’s called it, “On the Mount” times.
It might be helpful to note that the interns were always called “interns” until the “donors” filed wage claims and won.
Such is the cost of producing “terms of art”.
The first question one would ask would be how much of the Rozell’s personal time and labor was gifted to God as an “act of worship” or if they took regular paychecks.
Perhaps they would share that information about their compensation…
While at first glance this appeal looks like just another way for the Rozell’s to flee from any responsibility for the (alleged) abuses the interns endured, some of the interns see more going on than that.
“Mike is still controlling us through this – manipulating us to think we are bad people for questioning Potters Field. He always reminded us that we are to sacrifice ourselves fully to God (like Seal Team 6). After reading that letter, I began feeling the guilt all over again for trying to stand up for what’s right! Guilt leading to confusion is were he wants to keep us. This is a public display of the mind games he played in our heads behind closed doors and in secret.”
If you are, or know of, a labor attorney licenced in the State of Montana who would stand with these young people and stand for righteousness, please contact me immediately.
If you are, or know of a labor attorney licenced in the State of California who would stand with these young people and stand for righteousness, please contact me immediately.