An Oregon man has filed a lawsuit claiming more than $ 750,000 claiming his employer fired him for refusing to attend weekly Christian Bible studies
Plaintiff Ryan Coleman, 34, a convicted felon and Semi-Native American The construction company Albany, Ore., Dahled Up Construction, did not ask their workers to do weekly Bible study until a month after being hired as a painter, the Oregonian reported this week.
Joel Dahl, owner of the company and founder, insisted that his employees attend the trials as a condition of continued employment, claims the lawsuit.
Coleman said he obeyed for nearly six months, fearing that his earlier beliefs would make it difficult to find another job
"I'm Native American and Christianity just is not my thing," Coleman said Fox News.
But in April, Coleman told Dahl he could no longer attend class and was fired. Coleman said he only got a salary increase two weeks earlier.
"I loved my job, I woke up excitedly every day to go to work, not everyone can say that," said Coleman.
Dahl, also a convicted felon, said he founded his construction company to help other criminals like Coleman get back on their feet, the Oregonian said. Dahl's lawyer does not doubt that Dahl requires employees to attend Bible study, but says it's legal because Dahl pays them.
"We believe this claim is not illegal – these are employees who get paid" It was part of their job, so they were expected to attend, "said Kent Hickman, a Dahl lawyer, to NPR
"We believe that this requirement was not illegal to go paid. It was part of their job so they were expected.
Colemans attorney Corinne Schram questioned the legality of work requirements
"If you are not a religious organization like a church, you can not force your employees to attend religious activities, "said Schram.
" If you are not a religious organization like a church, you can not force your employees to participate in religious activities.
Coleman is suing his former employer for alleged loss of income of $ 50,000 and for "mental stress, humiliation, inconvenience and loss of zest for life," says the lawsuit.
Albany is located in northwestern Oregon, about 70 miles south of Portland.Colemans lawsuit was filed in the Linn County Circuit Court.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.