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

Former Employee Sues Dave Ramsey’s Company for Alleged Religious Discrimination, ‘Cult-Like’ Atmosphere

By Bob Smietana

The company owned by Christian personal finance advisor and radio host Dave Ramsey is being sued for alleged religious discrimination and misrepresentation.

A complaint filed Thursday in a county court alleges that the Lampo Group, which does business as Ramsey Solutions, was run as a “religious cult,” and required employees to give “complete and total submission to Dave Ramsey and his views of the world to maintain employment.”

Ramsey, whose Financial Peace University materials on personal finances are used by church’s nationwide, is also named as a defendant.

The complaint also alleges that Ramsey’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic put employees and their families at risk.

Lawyers for Brad Amos, a former Ramsey Solutions video editor, alleged their client was fired by the company because he objected to Ramsey’s views on the COVID-19 pandemic. Ramsey has consistently downplayed the risk of COVID-19, has referred to those who wear masks as “wusses,” and barred employees from working at home for much of the pandemic. 

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The company also held a mostly maskless, in-person Christmas party and has sued a Florida hotel for breach of contract, after the hotel said it would require attendees at a Ramsey conference to wear masks. 

The complaint alleges that Ramsey’s views on the pandemic are largely shaped by religion and that Amos was fired for disagreeing with those religious views.

“Plaintiff was terminated for failing to follow Defendant’s particular view that taking precautions other than prayer against COVID infection would make a person fall out of God’s favor,” the complaint states.

The lawsuit was filed in the Chancery Court for Williamson County, Tennessee, where Ramsey Solutions is headquartered.

According to the complaint, Amos was editing movie trailers in California when he was approached in 2019 by a recruiter for Ramsey Solutions. During what the complaint described as a six-month interview process, Amos became concerned after hearing of a “cult-like culture” at Ramsey. He was also concerned that despite its claims, Ramsey was not a “family-friendly” place to work.

Jonathan Street, one of Amos’s attorneys, said that his client had raised concerns to Ramsey leaders and was assured the rumors were not true and that the company had a “strong commitment to family time for employees.” The lawsuit claims that Amos was misled in the hiring process.

Street said that his client’s most pressing concern was his family’s well-being.

Amos’s wife and son are at high risk for complications of COVID-19, Street said, and his requests to work at home were denied, Street said.  The lawsuit alleges that any concerns about COVID-19 were dismissed as “weakness of spirit” and that the spouses of company employees were required to support Ramsey’s views on COVID.

In response to the lawsuit, Ramsey Solutions said in an email it is “full of blatantly false allegations that have no merit.” The organization accused Amos of “inflammatory and false statements” and said they are prepared to take action, citing slander and defamation. “It appears the goal of this lawsuit is to smear Ramsey Solutions’ reputation and extort a large settlement, and we are fully prepared to defend this lawsuit and prevail.”

The lawsuit also cites a May 2020 meeting, where Ramsey threatened to fire an employee who had filed an OSHA complaint about the company’s handling of COVID-19. During an all-staff meeting, Ramsey reportedly told staff that the OHSA complaint would not affect the company.

 “So whoever you are, you moron, you did absolutely no good, except piss me off,” he told staff during that meeting, Religion News Service 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.”

Ramsey Solutions is also being sued by a former employee named Caitlin O’Connor, who claims she was fired for being pregnant and unmarried. The company had defended her firing, saying that she was fired for having premarital sex, which company policy bans. In defending its policies, Ramsey Solutions has also claimed to have fired a total of eight employees since 2016 for premarital sex. 

News of the O’Connor lawsuit led Inc. magazine to drop the company from its 2020 “Best Workplaces” list.

Ramey personality and author Chris Hogan recently resigned from the company for violating undisclosed Ramsey Solution’s policies. Leaders at Ramsey had long backed Hogan, despite concerns about his conduct. 

Ramsey has long boasted of his company’s code of conduct, which includes a “righteous living” core value and his ability to control the personal lives of employees.

“I’ve got a right to tell my employees whatever I want to tell them,” he said in a Q&A segment about the company code posted on the company website. “They freaking work for me.”

This story has been updated with a statement from Ramsey Solutions.

Amos v. Lampo Group Complaint:

Amos v Lampo Group

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

 
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9 thoughts on “Former Employee Sues Dave Ramsey’s Company for Alleged Religious Discrimination, ‘Cult-Like’ Atmosphere”

    1. I have said for a long time that Ramsey is dealing in soft core prosperity Gospel. He presents his perspective as a code to unlocking financial principles in the Bible. If one only adheres to these principles, they will gain happiness, health (as he profoundly hates fat people— the financially “flabby”), and wealth. This is merely a more sophisticated package of prosperity Gospel Bull. The prosperity Gospel is just more “spiritualized”. As to the cult point, I’ve seen that with my own eyes. People once indoctrinated easily look down on those who aren’t. They possess the secret (which hints at the gnostic nature of both heresies) knowledge— you do not. Fool! Anyone who thinks Ramsey is loving and caring should go listen to the audio of financial peace. He chose to record it himself, a profound marketing blunder of you ask me.

  1. It looks like it’s Julie’s goal to destroy the Ramsey organization! This suit is something that belongs in the tabloids in the check-out lane in the grocery store.

    1. Danny,

      So how long have you worked at Ramsey Solutions? Or how much is Dave Ramsey paying the image consulting/PR/damage control company you work for?

    2. No, Dave Ramsey is doing an excellent job of destroying any credibility his company may have once had.
      No outside help necessary.

  2. Gordon Hackman

    It’s hard not to believe there’s something plausible about these claims when Ramsey is on his own website saying things like “They freaking work for me.” Totally unprofessional.

    I really don’t understand the attitude towards COVID precautions. Even if you don’t believe it’s a threat, is it necessary to be a bombastic jerk about it?

    1. I do understand the unrighteous attitudes towards precautions in a pandemic. Your standard narcissist like Dave here have a need for men to praise them and it is just not the same over a zoom room. They need to be close and have a fan base applauding their every move up close. Masks muffle their voice making them harder to understand and social distancing and remote worship/working puts a kind of distance that makes their lust for human praise very uncomfortable. They do not want to deal with the reality that they can catch a disease from others or spread it themselves.

      Narcissists know no empathy for anyone as that is their biggest defining characteristics. So they minimize and mock those who have long-Covid and those who have had friends and family die. Narcissists are just plain jerks and in religion they are what Jesus called White-washed Septic Tanks. People calling themselves “Christians” but who are not showing any empathy for the real effects world-wide of the pandemic are just showing that they do not know what actually following Christ looks like…

      1. Whitney Woodruff

        it’s bold to diagnose someone as a narcissist without even knowing someone and over the internet. Stay back and pipe down Mr. Jesperson! Ramsey seems like a jerk and a terror to work for, i’ll give you that. I’m never working for a company that digs into your personal life so much that you’re getting fired for premarital sex! That’s ridiculous!

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