Employees who refused to pray during company's Christian services score $50,000 discrimination settlement

Employees who refused to pray during company's Christian services score $50,000 discrimination settlement
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In North Carolina, Aurora Pro Services — a home repair company — has had a policy of requiring employees to participate in Christian prayer services.

Two ex-employees, atheist John McGaha and agnostic Mackenzie Saunders, were fired after declining to participate. And they filed a civil discrimination lawsuit in response.

Religion News Service's Yonat Shimron reports that Aurora has "agreed to pay $50,000 to settle" the lawsuit.

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"Specifically, the company was found to violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits religious discrimination, harassment and retaliation in the workplace," according to Shimron. "The $50,000 settlement was announced by the EEOC on August 2. It consists of backpay to cover lost wages and commissions for both the fired employees. McGaha was to receive $37,500 and Saunders $12,500."

Shimron notes that Aurora initially "retaliated against McGaha…. by slashing his wages in half" before firing him in 2020.

"McGaha said he had noticed that the length of the prayer meetings increased from about 20 minutes to 45 minutes or more as time passed," Shimron reports. "Saunders, who worked as a customer service representative in 2020 and 2021, was likewise fired after she stopped attending the mandated prayer meetings, saying they conflicted with her beliefs."

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Religion News Service's full report can be found at this link.

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