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Workplace discrimination: Religion allegedly caused dismissal

A woman in another state recently filed a lawsuit against her former employers, alleging that her refusal to change her religious beliefs led to her termination. Workers in Florida and across the country have certain rights that may not be violated. Victims of workplace discrimination, harassment or any other kind of employment abuse may be entitled to take legal action. A bottled water company will now have to answer to the woman's claims of religion discrimination.

According to the lawsuit, the woman was hired as a brand ambassador for the company in March 2015. She alleges that watching Scientology-based videos on her first day at work was mandatory, despite the fact that she practices a different religion. A baptized Catholic, she attends a Christian church. The woman further alleges that she was promised higher remuneration if she agreed to partake in self-improvement courses. Although she attended one of the classes, she asserts that she excused herself and left when she felt uncomfortable.

The lawsuit also claims that she no longer qualified for salary increases after she informed her supervisor that she would not attend the courses because of her personal religious beliefs. The plaintiff says the workplace environment became hostile after that incident, as the other workers were all followers of the Scientology religion. Although she was never reprimanded about work performance, the plaintiff claims three reports were written by her supervisor about her failure to fulfill her duties on Oct. 8. She was fired the following day.

Any Florida worker who is the victim of workplace discrimination may seek recovery of monetary damages and other relief. The plaintiff in this case accuses the company of workplace discrimination and unlawful employment practices in violation of the federal Civil Rights Act. She seeks compensation for lost benefits and income -- both past and future -- along with the recovery of emotional damages. She also seeks an award of punitive damages.

Source:, "Catholic woman files lawsuit claiming she was fired for not accepting Scientology", May 5, 2016

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