Local

2 employees say they were fired for not joining NC company’s Christian daily prayer, EEOC says

GREENSBORO, NC — Two employees at a North Carolina company say they were fired after refusing to attend the company’s daily Christian prayer meetings, which they say went against their respective religious beliefs, according to one from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The lawsuit, which will seek a jury trial, was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Greensboro on behalf of John McGaha, a construction manager at Aurora Pro Services, and Mackenzie Saunders, a customer service representative for residential service provider Greensboro. The EEOC announced the lawsuit in a press release on Tuesday.

It follows a US Supreme Court ruling that said a Washington state high school football coach who knelt and prayed on the field after games was protected under the constitution.

Mary Kate Littlejohn, a Greenville, South Carolina attorney representing McGaha and Saunders, declined to comment Tuesday. No one from Aurora Pro Services was immediately available for comment Tuesday, and questions about the lawsuit were directed to an email address from which there was no immediate response.

In the complaint, EEOC says daily prayer meetings are part of Aurora’s business model, although there is no indication of this on its website. Attendance at the prayer meetings is mandatory for workers and a condition of employment regardless of a worker’s religious belief or affiliation, the complaint said.

On occasion, prayers were requested and offered “for identified underperforming employees,” the complaint said. Also, according to the complaint, the company owner attended and reprimanded employees who did not attend.

McGaha, who describes himself as an atheist, was hired by the company on June 8, 2020. He said the prayer meetings, which initially lasted about 15 minutes, have stretched to about 45 minutes and even longer. Saunders, who worked at Aurora from November 2020 to January 21, 2021, describes herself as an agnostic. She also acknowledged that the prayer meetings grew longer over time.

According to the complaint, McGaha said the longer the prayer meetings lasted, the less bearable they became. He said he was once asked to lead Christian prayer, which he declined. In late August 2020, he asked the company’s owner to be excused from the parts of the meeting that touched on religion because of his conflict with this, but the owner refused, telling him “it would be in his best interests to do so.” “

McGaha apologized again in September. The complaint said the owner told him he didn’t have to believe in God or like the meetings, but he did have to attend. McGaha refused and he was fired, the complaint said. Before he was fired, the owner reduced his base salary from $800 to $400 and his commissions were withheld after he was fired, the EEOC said.

In January 2021, Saunders stopped attending the prayer meetings because they were in conflict with her religion. She was fired, the complaint said, adding that the owner told her she wasn’t a good fit for the company.

The complaint also calls for a permanent injunction to prevent the company from engaging in employment practices that discriminate based on religion and expose workers to a hostile work environment “by forcing them to participate in daily prayers.”

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

https://abc13.com/nc-workers-fired-not-joining-aurora-pro-services-daily-prayer-devotion-eeoc-atheist/12001573/ 2 employees say they were fired for not joining NC company’s Christian daily prayer, EEOC says

Dais Johnston

USTimeToday is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@ustimetoday.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button