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EEOC Sues Company for Forced Practice of Scientology

May 13, 2013
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Related Topics: Retaliation, Wrongful Discharge, Harassment, Discrimination and EEOC Compliance, Legal
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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed against a Miami, Florida, medical service provider, alleging that it has violated Title VII's religious discrimination provisions by forcing its employees to practice Scientology. According to the agency's lawsuit, Dynamic Medical Services required its employees, as a condition of their employment, to spend at least half their work days attending Scientology courses.

The EEOC's complaint [pdf] details the bizarre job requirements, which included:

  • Screaming at ashtrays.
  • Staring at someone for eight hours without moving.
  • Undergoing a "purification audit" by connecting to a Scientology religious artifact known as an "E-meter."

Employees who refused to participate in the Scientology religious practices, or conform to Scientology religious beliefs, were terminated.

If any of the EEOC's allegations in the lawsuit are true, the agency is going to have an easy time winning this case, which serves a good reminder that an employer cannot force its employees to conform to, follow, or practice, the employer's chosen religious practices and beliefs.

Written by Jon Hyman, a partner in the Labor & Employment group of Kohrman Jackson & Krantz. For more information, contact Jon at (216) 736-7226 or jth@kjk.com.

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