Kaylor sues MBC in employment case
By Bob Baysinger
February 3, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – Current Windermere accountant Carol Kaylor has sued her former employer, the Executive Board of the Missouri Baptist Convention, seeking money damages after the termination of her employment nine months ago. The lawsuit was filed on January 21, 2004, in state court in the City of St. Louis, Missouri.
Last summer, Kaylor filed a charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging that Executive Director David Clippard sometimes referred to her and other women employees as “sis" and other terms which she considered to be disrespectful. According to MBC attorney Michael Whitehead, Kaylor declined participating in conciliation and mediation available through the EEOC, which made no finding against MBC. Kaylor requested a “right to sue" letter on Oct. 24, which permitted her private lawyer, Michael Berry, to file suit within 90 days.
In the lawsuit, Kaylor admits that she was dismissed after her involvement in a computer tampering incident involving the executive director’s computer in February 2003. She says that she mistakenly sent an email to Clippard and then asked the MBC information technology specialist to delete the mail from Clippard’s computer while he was away. Clippard returned to his office unexpectedly and interrupted the plan.
Monte Shinkle, pastor of Concord Baptist Church, Jefferson City, and president of the MBC at the time of the incident, was quoted in a Pathway story that an Executive Board committee had reviewed the facts and concluded that the termination was justified because of Kaylor’s actions. Shinkle said. “We have complete confidence in Dr. Clippard and we are confident that his employment decision will be upheld as lawful."
Her lawsuit also says that Kaylor feels she has been defamed by news stories in The Pathway and by comments made by Clippard at the 2003 MBC annual meeting at St. Louis, responding to her charges as reported in the Word and Way.
Whitehead said in the earlier news story that since the former employee had chosen to make public charges in the Word and Way about her termination, it was only fair that the MBC provide some additional facts. "The Convention and Dr. Clippard have done nothing unlawful," Whitehead said. “We will vigorously defend against these false charges."
W. Terrence Kilroy, an attorney with the Kansas City firm of Shugart, Thomson & Kilroy, is lead defense counsel in the case.
Kaylor, who was hired as MBC controller by former executive director Jim Hill, went to work for Windermere Baptist Conference Center last summer after she left convention employment. Windermere is one of five agencies which attempted to break away from the Missouri Baptist Convention, and is now involved in litigation with the convention over the legality of the “self perpetuating boards." Kaylor’s son is employed by the Baptist General Convention of Missouri, a competing state convention which was founded by Jim Hill and others, and which supports Windermere and the other four breakaway agencies.