Jason Rines, an atheist who used to work at Olympia Sports (in Maine), has filed a lawsuit against the company and his former supervisor Lori Brooks because, he says, she “discriminated against him and harassed him” because of his godlessness.
Beyond the proselytizing at work, Brooks even accused Rines of theft — because, you know, atheists are immoral:
In mid-December 2012, Brooks informed Rines that someone had taken money from her purse, which she had left in the store’s back room. Rines told her he didn’t know anything about it, the complaint says.
Later that month, the district manager and the store’s loss prevention consultant came to the store and asked Rines about the missing money. No other employees were questioned about the incident, the complaint says.
Brooks told the district manager and other store employees that Rines had taken her money, according to the complaint.
Brooks also seemed to tell everyone that she was working with an atheist, leading to this awkward encounter:
… Brooks’ church pastor came to the store and gave Rines a Christmas present: a compact disc of Christian music and a book written by a “former atheist.”
The pastor had learned from Brooks that Rines was an atheist, the complaint says.
Lee Strobel. It’s gotta be Lee Strobel. That had to be the last straw, I’m sure of it.
Anyway, Rines eventually resigned because he couldn’t take it anymore and Brooks replaced him with yet another member of her church.
It’ll be a while before this issue gets resolved, but I have a hunch that this sort of thing — a religious boss harassing an atheist employee — happen often and we just never hear about it. If the complaint is accurate, then I wish Rines the best.
I tried to contact him him late last night for more information but hadn’t heard back at the time of this posting.