Subject: Klan release
Contact: Stephen Steiner For Immediate Release
Director of Communications August 14, 1995
COURT UPHOLDS AJCONGRESS CLAIM THAT FIRED KLAN MEMBER
DID NOT HAVE HIS CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATED
A minority-owned firm had the right to fire an employee who was a
leader in the Ku Klux Klan, despite his claim that the firing violated
his civil rights, a U.S. District Court has ruled. The American Jewish
Congress represented the firm. In agreeing with AJCongress' position,
the Court in Hoff v. Wilson declared that "firing a Klan member is not
a pretext for discriminating against whites."
Third World Interim, Inc. (TWI), a New York company involved in
training and placing minority workers in gainful employment, fired
William Hoff when the African-American owner of the firm learned that
Hoff was Grand Dragon of the New York Klan.
Hoff filed suit in South Carolina where he now lives contending
that he was fired because he was white, and that the dismissal
therefore was in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
prohibiting racially motivated discharges.
"Mr. Hoff's discharge was not the sudden result of a change in
attitude on the part of the management of TWI towards whites,"
AJCongress explained, noting that Hoff was employed to teach computer
skills in a firm catering primarily to minorities seeking advanced
training, "a job which brought him into continuous contact with the
minorities Klan ideology condemns as inferior and a threat to the well-
being of the white race." It was not racial prejudice but the opposite
which led to Hoff's discharge, the organization pointed out.
AJCongress Executive Director Phil Baum explained that the
organization became involved in this case because it believed that
employers who are attempting to comply with laws banning discrimination
in employment should not be forced to retain in positions of authority
those whose commitment to racial intolerance and hatred precludes their
compliance with the civil rights laws.
The American Jewish Congress, founded in 1918 by Rabbi Stephen S.
Wise, Justice Louis D. Brandeis and other distinguished Jews,
specializes in combatting all forms of bigotry through law and
legislation. Considered the legal voice of the American Jewish
community, it works to safeguard Jewish interests, protect basic
freedoms enshrined in the American Bill of Rights and to advance the
security of Israel.