- Personal finance guru Dave Ramsey, an evangelical Christian figure, and a business sued by a former employee.
- Court documents in recently released lawsuits reveal more of the company’s positions on employee sexual activity.
- Lawyers for the client suing Ramsey argue that the company’s policies on sexual activity apply differently to men and women.
Dave Ramsey’s company fired employees over certain sexual activities, and Ramsey himself once referred to a woman with a pejorative term after he alleged an employee had an extramarital affair, new court documents reveal .
The revelations are part of a lawsuit against Ramsey Solutions for firing an employee, Caitlin O’Connor, who was pregnant and unmarried at the time of her dismissal in June 2020.
The new court documents shed light on how Ramsey, a nationally recognized evangelical Christian figure, and his company are implementing workplace policies based on “Judeo-Christian values”. The documents, which the company and its attorneys have long fought to keep sealed, included a transcript of a deposition with Ramsey.
“If an employee does something that’s contrary to standard Christian beliefs, normative Christian beliefs, then the people we deal with in the Christian community would think we’re hypocrites, and that would hurt our brand,” Ramsey said. year in a deposition.
The transcript was released Thursday.
Company attorneys declined to comment on “ongoing litigation,” Jackson Lewis PC attorney Leslie Sanders said in a statement. Ramsey Solutions and O’Connor’s attorneys declined to comment.
Ramsey, known as a personal finance guru, is well known for his nationally broadcast radio show and his books. His Franklin-based company produces educational content on personal finance and business management for Christian and secular audiences.
O’Connor’s federal lawsuit is one of three that are ongoing or have recently been settled by different former employees alleging the company violated anti-discrimination protections.
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Ramsey Solutions says she fired O’Connor for violating the company’s “fair living policy”, while O’Connor argues the company discriminated against her because she was pregnant.
There are no written policies that explicitly state the company’s position on employee sexual activity.
“There are exceptions to Righteous Living if you are male,” O’Connor’s attorneys said in a filing accompanying transcripts of depositions with Ramsey and other company executives. “In contrast, women who had sex before marriage did not get a second chance.”
In making their case, O’Connor’s attorneys focus on a separate situation involving Chris Hogan, a former Ramsey Solutions media personality, who eventually left the company in March 2021 after having extramarital affairs and lying to company management about the scope of these cases, all facts that Dave Ramsey and other company leaders acknowledge in recently released deposition transcripts.
Before Chris Hogan left the company, his then-wife, Melissa, shared information with company management about her husband’s business. However, company executives did not fully believe her at the time, Ramsey said in his deposition. Ramsey said in his deposition with O’Connor’s lawyers that he considered her “erratic” and “completely out of control”.
In an email sent at the time with other company executives, Ramsey called Melissa Hogan a “world class b****,” according to Ramsey’s deposition and a copy of the e-mail. mail. When pressed by O’Connor’s lawyers in deposition, Ramsey showed little remorse for his language and said he used the phrase because “it’s pretty accurate”.
“There seems to be a pattern that Dave Ramsey believes in abusive men with power who benefit him,” Melissa Hogan said in a statement online Thursday night in response to the deposition revelations.
“The fact that Dave Ramsey himself and Ramsey Solutions as a company, despite evidence and witnesses, have blocked their eyes and ears (…) speaks to a profound lack of wisdom and discernment “, she added.
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When Chris Hogan admitted details about one of his affairs to the company’s executive, he said oral sex had taken place, but intercourse had not, according to depositions from Ramsey and other executives at the company. the company. Ramsey and other company executives said in their depositions that they did not fire employees for engaging in oral sex outside of marriage, only sexual intercourse.
The depositions also reveal that, including O’Connor, the company fired three employees who were pregnant. Ramsey Solutions argues that all three were fired for having premarital sex. One of those women, not O’Connor, informed the company of her pregnancy the week after her wedding, according to a transcript of a deposition with Armando Lopez, senior executive director of human resources at Ramsey Solutions.
In addition, the company fired an employee whose wife was pregnant after company officials calculated the date of conception was before the couple married, according to transcripts with depositions with several company officials. and copies of their emails. Another employee was fired after her boyfriend was seen walking around her apartment building one morning in his boxers.
If an employee lives with a boyfriend or girlfriend, company officials assume the couple had premarital sex, necessitating that employee’s firing, Ramsey and another company executive said. company in depositions.
The company also sanctions employees for viewing pornography, but does not fire them, Ramsey and another company executive acknowledged in their depositions. Leaders acknowledged that these cases almost always involved men, not women.
Liam Adams covers religion for The Tennessean. Contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter @liamsadams.