- An evangelical radio star’s company said it was firing employees who had premarital sex.
- Dave Ramsey’s company says they fired 9 employees in 5 years for violating their “righteous living” code.
- The policy arose out of a court case in which a former employee said she was fired because of pregnancy.
- You can find more articles on Insider’s business page.
Ramsey Solutions, a company owned by evangelical radio star Dave Ramsey, said in court records that it has a policy to fire employees for premarital sex.
The policy arose out of litigation with a former employee when the company cited the policy to back up its argument that it did not discriminate against them.
Ramsey is a personal financial advisor whose radio show The Dave Ramsey Show is nationally syndicated and combines conservative Christian themes with financial advice.
According to the Ramsey Solutions corporate website, Ramsey founded the company in 1992 and the company provides help and advice to people who want to “reduce debt and build a legacy.”
Caitlin O’Connor, a former administrative assistant with the company, alleged in a lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee last year that she was dismissed for becoming pregnant.
In a legal document viewed by Insider, she said she was fired after asking for documents related to taking maternity leave in June 2020.
In response, the company argued that she was fired not because of her pregnancy, but because she is not married to the child’s father.
O’Connor’s complaint alleged that she worked for the company for four years and was laid off seven days after informing HR that she was pregnant and asking for maternity leave-related documents.
Her lawyers argue that her release violated her federal maternity leave rights as well as Tennessee state laws. It describes the discharge as “particularly cruel” as she has also lost her health insurance.
In a later statement, which was also seen by Insider, lawyers for Ramsey Solutions said O’Connor had been fired for violating his standards that employees were expected to “consistently show strong character.”
It described premarital sex as a violation of the definition of “strong character” and “incompatible with a righteous life”.
The company said it had laid off eight other employees for premarital sex in the past five years, including five men.
The Religion News Service received records of a staff meeting last July at which Ramsey railed against the lawsuit.
“I’m sick of dealing with all that stuff,” Ramsey said, reporting on the point of sale. “I’m so tired of being falsely accused of being an idiot for just trying to help people stay in line.”
In the filing, the company said that O’Connor knew the company refused to be pregnant and unmarried and that it admitted to violating the policy.
The company was said to have no “standard way” to find out if an employee had premarital sex, but in this case they relied on O’Connor to tell them.
It is alleged that under state law, companies are free to fire employees for any reason, as long as they do not discriminate based on race, gender, or other characteristics and do not take revenge on them.
The Religion News Service reported last year, citing sources in Ramsey Solutions, that the company is in a “cult-like” environment, that attempts are being made to exercise control over employees’ private lives, and that adequate measures have not been taken to protect employees are from COVID-19. Other employees spoke out to defend the company in front of the point of sale.
In a statement to the point of sale, the company said it denied many of the “facts, details and conclusions” of the report.