Construction worker fired for refusing to attend Bible study sues former employer

U.S. & World

PORTLAND, OR (AP/WCMH) — A man has filed an $800,000 lawsuit against a construction company, claiming the owner fired him after he refused to attend Bible study.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Ryan Coleman’s lawsuit was filed in Linn County Circuit Court last week.

It states that after he was hired as a painter for Dahled Up Construction owner Joel Dahl told him all employees were required to participate in regular Bible study sessions led by a Christian pastor during the work day.

The lawsuit says Coleman told Dahl that the requirement was illegal but Dahl wouldn’t budge.

The suit says Coleman obliged for nearly six months in order to keep his job but was fired after telling Dahl he couldn’t go anymore.

“I said ‘I’ve kept an open mind, and it’s just not my thing.’ And he said, ‘Well, I’m going to have to replace you,’” Coleman told The Oregonian/OregonLive.

“He said ‘You’re not going to tell me how to run my own company,’” Coleman continued. “I said ‘I’m not trying to tell you how to run your own company, but you’re not going to tell me what god to pray to.’”

Dahl’s Albany attorney, Kent Hickam, doesn’t dispute that Dahl requires employees to attend Bible study, but says it’s legal because Dahl pays them to attend.

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