(CNN)Author, radio host and prominent evangelical Christian Dave Ramsey told the employees at his financial advice company Ramsey Solutions they would not be permitted to work from home because it would show a "weakness of spirit," according to a lawsuit filed in federal court Monday.
Lawsuit claims radio host Dave Ramsey discouraged working from home by employees during pandemic
The announcement came days after Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee declared a state of emergency in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the lawsuit says.
Brad Amos, a former senior video editor with Ramsey Solutions, filed suit in the US District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee Nashville Division, claiming he was fired in July of 2020 after requesting to work from home. According to the suit, Amos made the request to protect his family who he considered high-risk cases for Covid-19 exposure. The lawsuit demands backpay and monetary damages and claims that he was religiously discriminated against.
In a statement to CNN, Ramsey Solutions said Amos' lawsuit was filled with false statements and had no merit.
"Mr. Amos was fired during a meeting to discuss his poor performance with his leaders, where he insulted his most senior leader," the statement said. "He was not terminated for his religious beliefs or how he wanted to handle Covid. Ramsey Solutions' stance has always been that we will comply with applicable laws and regulations related to Covid. The company is fully prepared to defend this lawsuit and prevail. It appears its only goal is to smear Ramsey Solutions' reputation and extort a large settlement."
CNN asked Ramsey Solutions for comment on their current Covid-19 policy as well as their policy during the height of the pandemic but did not receive a reply.
According to the lawsuit, on March 15, 2020, Dave Ramsey emailed all employees informing them that there had been a confirmed case of Covid-19 in the department where Amos worked.
"The next day, approximately 900 Ramsey employees, including Plaintiff, were expected to attend an on-site all employee meeting despite Governor Lee's Executive Order #14 discouraging events of 250 people or more," the lawsuit said. "At this meeting, Mr. Ramsey announced that Ramsey Solutions employees would not be working from home. Despite the growing public concern for safety and need to exercise Covid-19 precautions, Mr. Ramsey and other leadership continued to express their belief that these measures were not aligned with the religious principles held by Ramsey Solutions."
The lawsuit said Ramsey believed that taking preventative measures against Covid-19 "were [sic] against the will of God."
The lawsuit states that Amos expressed concerns regarding his child and his wife's health and that his religious beliefs require him to protect his family's "health and safety."
According to the lawsuit, Head of Creative and Board Member Luke LeFevre dismissed Amos' concerns and told him he needed to "pray and keep moving forward."
After a statewide mandated school closure was announced on March 17, 2020, Amos inquired about working from home, according to the lawsuit. He claims that Head of Postproduction for Lampo (A division within Ramsey Solutions), David DiCicco assured him that his job would not be jeopardized and that "family comes first."
Amos elected to work from home but was demoted until he returned to the office, according to the lawsuit.
Until Amos returned to work in May, he described a work-from-home atmosphere in which he was ignored and often dismissed. While other employees returned to in-person work in April, Amos returned in May. Although mask-wearing and social distancing were not encouraged, according to the lawsuit, Amos practiced both.
Following a series of meetings with his superiors, he was fired in July 2020, the suit says. The lawsuit claims the Head of Creative's reason for Amos' termination was because he behaved with "lack of humility" as a result of his failure to submit to the Defendant's religious beliefs throughout his employment and in his one-on-one meetings."
It further claims that he was terminated for "taking scientifically prescribed precautions, as required by his sincerely held religious beliefs, in the Covid pandemic rather than relying on prayer alone to protect himself."
Neither Amos nor his attorney could be reached for comment.
CNN also reached out to LeFevre and DiCicco for comment but was unable to reach them.