NBC-- The company founded by the radio personality Dave Ramsey says it has fired at least nine employees in recent years for having premarital sex. One of those fired workers says in a federal lawsuit that she was fired because she was pregnant.
Caitlin O’Connor filed the lawsuit last year in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee alleging that her firing violated the Family Medical Leave Act and discriminated against her because of her sex. O’Connor was hired in 2016 and worked as an administrative assistant to the information technology department prior to her termination.
In a response this month, the company said that it had fired O'Connor for violating its “righteous living” policy and that her discrimination claim was not supported.
Ramsey Solutions said in a March 8 court filing that it has fired at least eight employees for engaging in premarital sex in the past five years in addition to O’Connor, and most of them were "not pregnant" at the time; five of them were men, the company said.
The company said that it "does not maintain an exhaustive list of conduct that can lead to employee discipline because it is neither practical nor required,” but over time "specific rules have developed" to address employee conduct.
"One is that Defendant does not allow employees to engage in premarital sex,” the company said.
In a motion to dismiss the case, the company said that it is legal for private, for-profit employers to fire employees for any reason so long as it is not discriminatory or retaliatory. The company said O’Connor was aware of this policy because of an email she sent to Armando Lopez, the company’s senior director for human resources.
The email said that O'Connor understood “being unmarried and expecting is frowned upon here,” according to the brief. The company’s attorney said that the email is “nothing more than an acknowledgement of Defendant’s premarital sex ban and admission that she violated it.”
Ramsey Solutions falls under The Lampo Group, LLC, a corporate entity founded by Ramsey in 1992, according to its website. Ramsey is listed as the president of The Lampo Group in a D&B Duns company profile published last month.
The company operates an array of Ramsey’s personal finance products, including his nationally syndicated radio show “The Ramsey Show” and financial coaching services. Ramsey Solutions employs more than 900 “team members,” according to its website.