We already knew evangelical financial “guru” Dave Ramsey was the Boss From Hell for ignoring COVID precautions in the workplace, planning a no-mask holiday party last December, and reportedly pulling out a gun during a staff meeting. He also micromanages the private lives of his employees, doing things like firing them for having sex before they’re married, because he believes working for him means everyone has to obey his version of Christian Fundamentalism at all times.
Now he’s being sued for religious discrimination by a former employee who says the “cult-like” company fired him for taking the virus seriously.
According to Bob Smietana of Religion News Service, who’s been on top of All Things Ramsey over the past year, Brad Amos filed the lawsuit on Monday.
According to the complaint, Amos, a video editor, holds strong religious convictions about caring for his family’s health and requested to be able to work from home in order to safeguard their well-being. That request, according to the complaint, was seen as a “weakness of spirit.”
“Lampo expected its employees to adopt the religious view of Mr. Ramsey that taking COVID-19 precautions demonstrated ‘weakness of spirit’ and prayer was the proper way to avoid COVID-19 infection,” the complaint states. “In contrast, Plaintiff’s religious beliefs required him to heed the advice of science to protect his family from a deadly disease.”
When Amos refused to comply with Ramsey’s views, according to the complaint, he was fired.
Religious freedom for all! Christianity above all other religions! Unless your Christian beliefs are different from Dave Ramsey’s Christian beliefs, in which case your religious freedom doesn’t matter anymore.
While Ramsey’s company said Amos’ lawsuit had “absolutely no merit,” his claims fall perfectly in line with everything we know about how they operate. Ramsey treats his company like a church and whatever he says — always in the name of Jesus — applies to everyone, no matter how literally harmful it may be to their health.
Just to put this bluntly, the allegation here is that a Christian business owner who downplayed COVID to the point of utter negligence fired a Christian employee who wanted to protect his family from the harm of COVID by taking some basic precautions.
The lawsuit itself is wild. It includes a section explaining the new employee orientation that involved no actual training but more of an indoctrination into the Cult of Dave.
The lawsuit also says that after the state of Tennessee issued a state of emergency early in the pandemic, discouraging groups of 250+ people from gathering, Ramsey told a gathering of hundreds of people that working from home was not an option and that fearing the virus was a sign of “weakness of spirit.” When Amos expressed concern about his immunocompromised family and the fact that a staffer with a confirmed COVID case worked mere feet from him, he was just told to “pray and keep moving forward.”
The most bizarre part of this? Amos could easily have done his job from home, but Ramsey’s people insisted he show up to work because they were supposedly an “essential business” (they are absolutely not).
In a statement to RNS, Ramsey Solutions said the goal of the lawsuit was “to smear Ramsey Solutions’ reputation and extort a large settlement.” But Ramsey has done more than anyone to smear his reputation because everyone who leaves his company tells the same damn story of how things work there. They treat the public company like a private ministry where the boss controls everyone’s life — sharing personal details about your marriage is part of the agreement — and demands total fealty.
No reasonable person should ever want to work there. Unfortunately, many people have no clue what this company is like. These lawsuits against Ramsey’s company have done more to expose its inner workings than anything Ramsey would ever reveal on his own because even he has to know it’s all batshit crazy. But because it’s wrapped up in a cloak of Christianity, he’s been able to get away with it for years.