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Christian Finance Expert Dave Ramsey Sued for Religious Discrimination

By Bob Smietana
Dave Ramsey discrimination finance expert hogan
In this July 29, 2009, file photo, financial guru Dave Ramsey sits in his broadcasting studio in Brentwood, Tennessee. (AP Photo/Josh Anderson, File)

A former employee of Christian finance guru Dave Ramsey is suing his former boss for religious discrimination, claiming he was fired for putting his faith in science and not prayer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawyers for Brad Amos filed a complaint Monday in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, alleging there was a “cult-like” environment at the Lampo Group LLC, the company Ramsey leads near Nashville.

The complaint claims Lampo, better known as Ramsey Solutions, violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by requiring employees to abide by Ramsey’s religious beliefs about COVID-19.  

Ramsey — known for his “Financial Peace University” programs taught at churches — has been an outspoken critic of COVID-19-related health restrictions, ridiculing those who wear masks and requiring employees to come to work in the office through the pandemic. Those who disagree with Ramsey’s views on how to respond to COVID-19 are seen as disloyal, according to the complaint.

The complaint cites comments made by Ramsey early in the pandemic, saying that anyone who wore a mask was a “wuss.” Ramsey has also threatened to fire employees who complained to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration about how the company has handled COVID-19.

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“So whoever you are, you moron, you did absolutely no good, except piss me off,” he told staff during a May 2020 meeting where the OSHA complaint was discussed, as previously reported. “You are not welcome here if you are willing to do stuff like that. If you are really scared and you really think that leadership is trying to kill you … please, we love you. Just leave. We really don’t want you here.”

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.

Ramsey Solutions denied Amos’ claims in a statement emailed Monday to RNS.

“Mr. Amos’ lawsuit has absolutely no merit,” Ramsey Solutions said. “It appears its only goal is to smear Ramsey Solutions’ reputation and extort a large settlement. Ramsey Solutions is fully prepared to defend this lawsuit and prevail.”

The federal lawsuit Amos filed is similar to a complaint filed in April in Chancery Court for Williamson County, Tennessee, where Ramsey Solutions is headquartered. That state court complaint was later withdrawn.

Ramsey Solutions is currently involved with three other federal lawsuits. In one case, Ramsey fired an employee, who is not married, after she told her boss that she was pregnant. That employee, Caitlin O’Connor, claims the company discriminated against her for being pregnant. The company countered by saying the former employee was fired for having extramarital sex, which violates company policy.

O’Connor also claimed religious discrimination, which the court rejected.

Another former employee sued Ramsey Solutions in September 2021, claiming she was told to resign because she was gay. That lawsuit, filed by lawyers for Julie Anne Stamps, alleges that Ramsey views homosexuality as sinful — a claim the company has denied in court.

Ramsey is also involved in a lawsuit with Marriott over a conference that was relocated after a Marriott resort required guests to wear masks. Ramsey refused to comply with that requirement and moved the conference — a decision that allegedly cost millions.  

His company came under fire last year for hosting a massive Christmas party where masks were not required. Ramsey Solutions was also dropped from Fortune’s best places to work list after being sued by O’Connor.

Bob SmietanaBob Smietana is a national reporter for Religion News Service.

 
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31 Responses

  1. Well?, all I can say is Ramsey is a guy who has guts and finally someone to stand up to the Global elite tyranny that all are submitting too!

    Standing up to God’s moral law and getting judged by sinful man is while lot better than bowing down to tyranny and sinful lifestyles and being judged by God!!

    Great job Dave, My prayers and sentiments go with you !

    1. Tim, I’m not sure at all about the statement you make that Dave Ramsey has guts, or a man who stands up against sinful man with God’s moral law. From what I’ve read and seen Dave Ramsey is a bully and he insults people with name-calling and cursing. Is this type of verbal and emotional abuse something that a professing Christian levels against his employees? I have witnessed firsthand what this type of person can do to a congregation, or in this case his employees. I come out of the Harvest Bible Chapel disaster orchestrated by the Wolf and narcissist, James McDonald. If there is anyone who could be a better teacher how to verbally, and emotionally abuse and traumatize people it would be James. “Great job Dave. My prayers and sentiments go with you?” You may want to rethink that.

      1. Interestingly, Paul writes (1 Cor. 5:11) that Christians shouldn’t associate with other Christians who are verbally abusive (“reviler” in many translations).

        1. Paul also calls us to kindness in our relationships. Col. 3:12. Above all a ‘boss’ who is Christian in an organisation that portrays itself as Christian in ethos should be exemplary in conduct towards others. His staff member seemed to have a reasonable view, irrespective if the boss agreed with it or not. It would have been kind to accede to his quite reasonable request.

    2. What exactly does any of this have to do with “standing up to [sic] God’s moral law”?

      This whole comment just sounds like the kind of politicized insanity that has become far to common among a certain segment of evangelicals. And even if I were sympathetic to Ramsey’s view of things his statement referring to someone as a “moron” is truly unbecoming of a Christian leader.

    3. Tim –

      I agree Ramsey is free to believe as he wishes. But for Ramsey to bully and demand others hold to the same beliefs – and fire, shame, and label those who don’t – is doing the SAME thing you accuse the “Global elite tyranny” (whatever that is) of doing.
      Christians should be above this.
      Do you know of anyone who came to Christ because they were threatened with job loss or name calling if they didn’t?

      1. I some what agree but doesn’t he take his team into churches? His business is a crossover ministry, so I don’t know….
        His handling of the pregnant woman ???? I don’t approve. A man of God should provide for a pregnant woman – mercy for disregarded policies should be enacted.

        1. I actually think it’s worse if he’s bullying people AND taking them to churches. That gives a horrible impression on what it means to be a disciple of Christ. We are about relationship with God through Christ, not a bunch of rules you bully people into submission to follow.
          And what’s the saying – sitting in a church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than sitting in a garage makes you a car.

    4. Ramsey Solutions will settle out of court then claim their company policies are legal. The arrogance of Dave Ramsey reminds me of the behavior of abusive pastors (I.e. Mark Driscoll, James MacDonald) and people blindly follow and defend him and his organization without any thought. Dave Ramsay’s pharasaic behavior will be called to account one day.

    5. Ramsey is very likely a narcissist, and this kind of ‘attaboy’ response just feeds his vanity.

      The more adulation he receives as criticism mounts, the harder the fall will be when the hammer of public opinion comes down on him. If you really like the work he does and the help he provides, you should pray that he humbles himself and softens his heart toward fellow believers, rather than looking to make his own name great.

      Because that hammer will fall.

    6. Denying objective facts is just plain stupid and is really just lying. It makes one wonder what else evangelicals like Ramsey are lying about. If they lie about covid are they also lying about what they say are biblical truths?

  2. Interesting case. I don’t think that the Ramsey Solutions official statement will help their case: as it seems straight out of the fend-off-sexual-abuse-claims by smearing the complainant as a liar only after financial gain; and in that circumstance it tends to see the complainant win, if they have a modicum of evidence to prove their case of complaint.

  3. People ask is freaking a substitute for the F word?
    Yes, “fricking” or “freaking” are basically milder substitutes for the “F-word”. They are thus LESS offensive than that word.
    Maybe Dave Ramsey does not realize this but I doubt it. He commonly uses this word but I find it very offensive for someone who professes to be a Christian but cannot control his mouth.

  4. I really hope the pregnant employee’s case reaches discovery–that is, I hope she refuses an NDA and payout. It’s ridiculous at face value to claim to be pro-life and in the same breath fire a woman for getting pregnant prior to marriage.

    This is why the pro-choice crowd doesn’t believe you when you say it’s about the babies.

  5. It would be helpful to know if the man in question had an elderly person or other high risk category family member he was looking out for, otherwise he seems to have been over reacting by insisting on staying home and wearing masks. I do think Ramsey is right to stand against the tyrannical ideologies of “science” in these times because of all the lies and deceptions. He is not loving this man by approving of his delusions even though it is unfortunate this poor man has been lied to. However, he could very well have been more patient with the man. Hard to know for certain. His handling of the pregnant woman is more unsettling, but the details are unknown to me. While the intent of this reporting seems to be keeping tabs on Ramsey’s “bullying”, it’s starting to seem more like exposure of wolves taking advantage of Ramsey for financial gain.

    1. “Ramsey is right to stand against the tyrannical ideologies of “science” in these times because of all the lies and deceptions. He is not loving this man by approving of his delusions even though it is unfortunate this poor man has been lied to.”

      You’re entitled to your opinion. But when 800,000 people in the US alone have died of something, maybe you should reconsider whether it’s all lies and delusions.

      And when I go to work at a hospital and use the “tyrannical ideologies of science” to help save the lives of people who would otherwise join that hideous death toll, I thank God! There is no call for people like Ramsey to flout public health guidelines and pretend it shows they have more faith than others. It’s offensive and ignorant.

    2. Sara –

      Given many have said asking for vaccination status is a violation of privacy, is asking the man in question who he is caring for an invasion of privacy?
      You say he is not loving this man by approving of his delusions. (That’s very debatable given the data pointing to covid NOT being a delusion) However, isn’t it loving to allow this man to take precautons for HIS health and/or to let him be home to care for his loved one?

  6. “For from the least to the great of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely.”
    “They healed the wound of my people lightly, saying ‘peace’ ‘peace’ when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they didn’t know how to blush. Therefore, they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them they will be overthrown.
    Thus says the Lord” Jer 6:13-15

  7. The reports Dave Ramsey’s behavior in many instances is very disturbing and paints the picture of an individual who seems to be self-absorbed, unable to control his temper, and drunk with power over others. His behavior in association with people who think differently than him regarding COVID-19 and how to best protect themselves is also very troubling. And the fact that people keep suing him is a huge red flag about him and the way he conducts himself.

    But unfortunately, these reports also show the need for employees to really understand what they are signing up for when they go to work for somebody. Even though I’ve never worked for Dave Ramsey, I’ve long known about the requirements that he has for his employees that goes beyond the requirements of a secular organization. So if a person agrees to those requirements as it pertains to their jobs and then violates them, they are responsible if they violate them, in my opinion. But I, even as a believer myself, would never submit to such requirements in a workplace. Many times, it brings about workplace abuse and it is more devastating because the victims of the abuse of supposed brothers and sisters in the Lord. So be careful who you work for and what you agree to.

    1. Landis, well said, very well said! I completely agree with your position that people are required to meet conditions that they have agreed to in writing with in employer. Unfortunately there are many who simply need a job. And if the pay and benefits are good those that sign these agreements are doing it because they need what the company is offering. I had a friend at the Harvest Bible Chapel who signed a nondisclosure agreement. Unfortunately he really didn’t understand what this was and was legally bound to it. When James McDonald began to apply his bullying and narcissistic, overpowering personality, controlling behavior, etc. etc. there was nothing he could do other than to resign and believe me he had to or else lose his mind, it was that bad for him. Again well said about being careful of what you sign and who you work for, and sadly especially as it relates to “Christian ministries”.

    2. Landus, thanks for your temperate and judicious comments. They point to structural concerns illustrated by previous articles on this website. The organization, as I view it, attempts to be all things to all persons: private business, nonprofit ministry, employer, and church [some worship meetings are conducted on site]. The inevitable result is a lack of appropriate boundaries.

      Earlier this year, for example, it was reported at The Roys Report that a key Ramsey employee committed adultery. A private business generally would view this as a personal matter and not intervene unless a worker’s behavior, albeit unethical, affected job performance. A nonprofit ministry should terminate an individual for choices clearly inconsistent with its Christian witness and its employee code of conduct. A church should hold a member accountable for sin, apply discipline as needed, and seek to repair the marriage if possible.

      According to journalists, the company responded with all three approaches. Management was aware of the infidelity but permitted the man to continue working for about three years. The employee eventually resigned, which suggests that he would have soon been fired otherwise. The organization drafted a spiritual restoration plan, mandated counseling for the couple, and requested that both their therapist and pastor provide progress reports to management. Hence, a triple play with violations of boundaries, egregious invasions of privacy, and damages for all parties involved.

  8. The article stated, “ are seen as disloyal, according to the complaint.” What does the company policy state? Are there violations of the company policy?

    Tennessee is an at will employment state. The article states, “requiring employees to come to work in the office through the pandemic” The same is true in many places of employment. The idea if you do not work … you do not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). The entitled attitudes permeated by the government is destroying the fabric of satisfaction in work. God is sovereign and faith in Him is needed. Sure be prudent, but Covid-19 has not thwarted God’s purpose. It actually has been the vehicle through which God works is sovereign purpose in a sinful way of life.

    “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.” Convictions do not eclipse the wish of the boss. Period. When I see this social fabric… I think these people willl fold under pressure and would never make it in the US Army.

  9. I’m pretty right-wing, but this dude is an absolute charlatan, and in terms of his devotees… “they’re born every minute.” He is NOT some persecuted conservative warrior. There’s not a whole lot else I have to say about this odd cult of hucksterism in TN.

    1. Belief in science isn’t his religion, Christianity is. He’s arguing the expression of that religion, loving his neighbor as himself by following public health advice, was not accommodated but actively suppressed. He’s saying Ramsey tried to define the only acceptable expression of Christianity, which was not to follow guidelines.

      1. Mark, not following recommended medical guidelines is not the issue here. Bullying, narcissism, insults, threatening, etc. etc. is the issue. Dave Ramsey is guilty of all of this, and I feel very badly for those who have been emotionally manipulated into thinking they have to bow down to this man and show loyalty above and beyond anyone or anything, including the Lord himself just to be able to keep their jobs and/or benefits. The atmosphere these people work in is toxic and tyrannical at its highest level. Dave Ramsey’s “ministry” benefits no one but himself.

        1. I 100% agree.

          But the lawsuit approaches his grievances from the standpoint of religious discrimination, probably because he and his lawyer determined that was the most promising avenue legally.

          As a side benefit it should show that Ramsey’s policies have the opposite of the intended effect: rather than providing freedom for employees to practice Christianity, it limits them from practicing Christianity by defining what their faith should look like.

  10. With his politicized culture-war posturing and abusive leadership, Ramsey seems to be well on his way to becoming the Mark Driscoll of the Christian financial advice world.
    Don’t be surprised if he winds up getting the CT podcast treatment in a few years.

  11. Mr. Ramsey is obviously overtaken by the need to defend America’s sovereignty above and beyond God’s sovereignty and God’s call for His people to reflect His character.

  12. Just a thought. I wonder what the outcome would be of highly qualified person being refused employment at Ramsey’s company if he was an Orthodox Jew or perhaps a Catholic? And please understand I am in no way using God’s people or those who espouse Catholicism in a negative or derogatory manner by asking this question. Any thoughts?

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