A home repair company’s mandatory daily Christian prayer sessions for its employees were becoming “less tolerable” for an atheist construction manager who refused to continue attending — resulting in his firing in North Carolina, federal officials said in a lawsuit.
His boss told him “he did not have to believe in God, and he did not have to like the prayer meetings, but he had to participate” before the worker was fired in the fall of 2020, according to a complaint filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the Greensboro-based business. This came after his pay was cut in half.
The worker was asked to lead a prayer session on one occasion, despite making his beliefs known, prior to losing his job with Aurora Pro Services, the EEOC said.
John McGaha and Mackenzie Saunders said in a lawsuit filed Monday that the owner of Aurora Pro Services “created a hostile work environment, based on religion,” and openly threatened to fire workers who didn’t attend the sessions.
“You have to participate,” the owner said, according to McGaha in the lawsuit. “If you do not participate, that is okay, you don’t have to work here. You are getting paid to be here.”
“Ms. Saunders describes the behavior as ‘ranting,’” the lawsuit states. “Ms. Saunders began to feel as though the meetings became ‘cult-like’ after the owner required everyone to recite the Catholic version of the Lord’s Prayer in unison.”
◾️The company is being sued for religious discrimination.
◾️The sessions have been mandatory for 2 years
◾️Prayer sessions lasted for almost an hour.
◾️The company website does not explicitly say one has to be a Christian to work there, but it does say that “the solution can always be found in the Lord.”