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home : opinion : letters April 30, 2016

12/3/2013 6:00:00 PM
Letter: Woman's dismissal stirs memories

Today I read the paper and realized that the "good ol' boys" are still alive and well. The case of the woman who lost her job with the city because her husband was in a motorcycle club reminded of the days when I was a young girl living in the Deep South in a cotton mill village.

I was 16, married and had a small child. The mill village had been owned by the Callaway family. The people who worked at the mill and lived in the village houses got their pay at the company store and were under the control of the mill owner. This had all started in the late 1800s.

My story starts in the early '50s. By then, the houses were owned by the workers and paychecks were issued instead of vouchers to the store.

But the good ol' boys system still prevailed.

My husband and all his family (including me) worked at the mill - except for one brother. He moved to Atlanta and got a job as an electrician's helper. He broke the code of the mill.

He returned one evening, looking for his mother, and was spotted by a mill foreman. The rest of the story will stay with me for the rest of my life. The next day, we were all called up to the superintendent's office. Our jobs were threatened and we would have to leave the mill village if this brother ever came back into town. They thought he might just be connected with the KKK.

History tells us what the "good ol' boys" could get away with then. But this is 2013. Can a woman be dismissed from her job just because her husband rides a motorcycle? Do the "good ol' boys" in this town still tell us what we can, or cannot do, with our lives? Voters, think hard when you next vote.

Joanie Biller


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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, December 6, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

If being associated through your family, with some sort of fringe group here in Mohave County is a disqualifier, there won't be many employees left. I thought everyone was affiliated somehow. Fraternal organizations, gun clubs, animal rescue, car collectors...all fringe groups and sometimes radical in their beliefs. I didn't even mention the really vocal "out there" types who aren't organized in any real form.

This woman will be laughing all the way to the bank,.

Posted: Friday, December 6, 2013
Article comment by: Highly Amused

The woman was dismissed because the motorcycle club her husband belongs to has affiliations with the Hell's Angels. Kind of a distraction you know...she works with cops...he rides with what is considered a 1% club. You do the math. Would you really want a situation compromised if one of his club brothers were in the mix? She might feel more loyalty to them than to doing her job with the police.

Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013
Article comment by: gun owner 000

That's a pretty edgy subject. But, I feel that what a man does on his own time is none of his employer's business...unless of course, what he does has a detrimental effect on business. Or, like the County Government would say, "A conflict of interest.". I know from experience that if somebody attempted to dismiss me, "because I ride a motorcycle, or hang out with Joe Blow, after work." I'd be dragging them into court and suing them for everything they had. This woman got her job back because the City of Kingman knew they made a mistake, hopefully before it was "damage control" time.

Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Article comment by: Rick O'Shea

"Can a woman be dismissed from her job just because her husband rides a motorcycle?"
Good question if that is the reason, I would say yes if your husband has a criminal history. In many law enforcement agencies you and any direct family member you live with is run through a background check if you the applicant will have access to confidential information if hired.

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