Oregon construction worker fired over bible study requirement

Ryan Coleman told his boss: “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.”


Is it legal for a company to demand employees listen to the word of God in order to collect their paycheck? One Oregon construction worker is about to find out.

Ryan Coleman is suing his former employer, Dahled Up Construction, after the owner fired him for refusing to attend company-sponsored Bible study. When Coleman initially accepted a job as a painter with the company, he assumed the Bible study sessions were an optional activity that employees could choose to attend.

To his dismay, he soon discovered that attendance was actually a condition of employment. Coleman, who is half-Native American, was deeply uncomfortable with the practice. But he also couldn’t afford to lose his job, and dutifully showed up to the religious sessions for several months before it finally became too much.

Coleman raised his concerns with the company’s owner, Joel Dahl, explaining that it was illegal to force people to participate in religious activities in the workplace and that he could no longer stand idly by. The conversation didn’t go very well. “He said ‘You’re not going to tell me how to run my own company,’” Coleman recounts “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.’” Ryan Coleman was promptly fired.

Bible Study Group

“We believe that this requirement was not illegal,” a company lawyer said. “These are at-will employees and they were paid to go. It was part of their job, so they were expected to attend.”

Fighting Back

Ryan Coleman has now launched an $800,000 lawsuit against Dahled Up Construction – $50,000 for loss of income and $750,000 as compensation for “mental stress, humiliation, inconvenience and loss of enjoyment of life.”

His lawyer is confident they will win in court, explaining that “a nonreligious employer cannot obligate employees to attend Bible study whether they are paid for their time or not. They can make it voluntary but they can’t make it a condition of employment.”

But an attorney representing Dahl doesn’t see it that way. “We believe that this requirement was not illegal. These are at-will employees and they were paid to go. It was part of their job, so they were expected to attend,” he insists.

Can Your Boss Make Bible Study Mandatory?

It’s true there is a lot of grey area in at-will employment. If you fail to perform any of your listed job duties, that can be considered grounds for termination. But is “being a Christian” a reasonable thing to put on that list? More importantly, is it legal? According to most experts, the answer is no. However, we’ll have to wait to see how this plays out in court.

What do you think? Should a company be able to push religious beliefs on its employees, or is it better to keep faith out of the workplace? 

 

157 comments

  1. Katelynne V Shouse says:

    Ludicrous! The painter should be in the right no ifs ands or butts!!!

    1. Jason Bender says:

      he is. he basically just won the lottery!

      1. j says:

        Not so fast, a clear cut winning lotto winnings? We need to see what was signed… (job description / duties). IE; Painting? Washing trucks & tools? Mowing the 20 acres at the office? On the job training? Reading or on the job training / schooling? I’ll be surprised if the boss was that stupid / Nieve to leave himself that exposed. Lets turn it around, what is the boss failed to pay for the bible reading time per contract? I bet the employee/s would sue. L & I would be all over this.

        1. Jason Bender says:

          Shalom!

          J, check this article out, much more details!:

        2. Jason Bender says:

          damnit cant post link… just put dudes name and the co name into google, click on oregon live article at the top…

    2. Bill C. says:

      https://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2018/08/lawsuit_oregon_construction_wo.html

      It is part of the employment agreement. He had a choice to take the job or not knowing that it was a condition of employment. His belief does not matter. It was written out in black and white. Do I agree with it? No. Mandatory Church is just so wrong on many levels. We each of us choose faith in our own way and time. Parents make kids attend church frequently. Does that make the child religious? Nope. Just exposes the child to “A” religion. As they grow they will be offered many choices such as this one. Choose to accept a job with a bible study requirement or not. This fellow chose the wrong battle I think.

      1. Kyri L says:

        Even if it’s in the contract, that doesn’t make it something that is a legal catch-all if that condition of employment is unconstitutional or breaks state or national laws (which it does, because it discriminates based on religion). The company’s lawyers would be hard-pressed to prove that “mandatory Christian Bible sessions” doesn’t translate to “we’re only hiring Christians”, and the onus is on them to prove that they did not break the law. There is more than enough evidence that they did and nothing but a silver-tongued argument and theory to prove they didn’t.

        Besides, opting out of the Bible sessions would be considered a reasonable religious accommodation. The only time you can be fired over accommodations are if they are, a) not reasonable, i.e. cost the company more than your labor is worth; or b) an essential part of the job that cannot be removed, i.e. a call operator that cannot answer phone calls. Again, the onus is on them to prove that the Bible sessions are an essential part of the job as a painter for a construction company, which they are not.

          1. Jim Doire says:

            How does it discriminate based on religion? He was being paid to attend a Bible study class. He was not forced to convert. They didn’t follow him on his private time to make sure what he had studied had sunk in. I don’t agree with it myself but how is this any different than having to attended mandatory sexual harassment classes or company policy meetings. I’m 58 and know full well how to conduct myself in a professional manner. Early in my career I was to be a mentor in the companies mentoring program for new employees. If there is anybody who did not need to attend these classes, workshops, lectures or whatever else they want to call them it is me. Yet I will be fired if I do not attend. I think what has a lot of people spun up is that it was Bible study. If the boss was an out of his mind Cowboys fan and made he’s employees spend an hour every week talking about how great the Cowboys are, how would that be any different? I’m a Seahawks fan. In this scenario what should I do? What can legally be expected of me regarding mandatory attendance? It’s really no different. This guy is an ex-con, a felon, a recovering drug addict and basically unskilled labor. Yet he feels his “mental stress, humiliation, inconvenience and loss of enjoyment of life” is worth $800,000 dollars? That’s more money than he was ever going to see in his life.

            And everybody bitchin’ how work and religion should be kept separate are full of it. Are you ready to work every Christmas Day for the rest of you working life? Easter holidays? The Jewish holidays? Muslim observance. Kwanzaa? You guys……

          2. Kathleen Barrett says:

            Perfect!!!!!

          3. T'Keren Valmaz says:

            Because Jim Doire it is a bible study class. It involves religion and thus conflicts directly with our laws concerning freedom of religion.

            If an employer or anyone else for that matter tried to force me by intimidation or interference to life liberty and happiness they become an enemy to be dealt with as such.

            This is exactly what people mean when they say the actions of certain members of various religions are driving people entirely away from faith and spirituality by becoming adversarial.

            To people of faith, keep your faith strong, and keep it to yourself. No else needs to know nor wants to know what your faith is. Unless they specifically want to discuss your faith keep it private. and personal just like your sex life

      2. Padre Obstato says:

        If the employee is forced by economic necessity to sign an odious contract, the courts are very likely to hold the contract, or at least the objectionable clause(s) invalid, especially when it goes against well established Constitutional legal doctrine.

        The employer knows he will lose at the state level but is counting of an ultra-Conservative shift in the US Supreme Court, hoping it will be in place by the time his appeal gets to that point. We’ll have to wait and see what happens with the Kavanaugh SCOTUS confirmation.

      3. Susan Chesley says:

        According to that article, he was told AFTER he accepted employment. That makes it illegal, as well as deceptive. How can one person say he’s trying to bring someone to God when he’s using deceptive intimidation tactics? If that’s legal we may as well hang it up because that is so far from being ONE with our fellow man. No one has the right to demand conformity in their spiritual life. We have free will in our own lives, not free reign over others.

        1. Robert Messmer says:

          Quote: “When Coleman initially accepted a job as a painter with the company, he assumed the Bible study sessions were an optional activity that employees could choose to attend.” So no, he knew before he accepted the job but ASSUMED it was optional. But the court will probably rule against the business owner anyway because as we all know “you didn’t built that, someone else did.”

          1. Rev. Jo-An Josephine says:

            Of course he ASSUMED….it wasn’t declared legitimately in his contract.

      4. Jack says:

        Wow, such naivete, and lack of understanding of law. He does NOT have to participate in ANY religious gathering, whether or not it is in the employment contract. Brush up on labor laws and right to keep self counsel, let alone freedom from religion, if he so desired.

        1. Carol W Waldenburg says:

          Go Jack!

    3. William Burris says:

      Does this employer think that he is above God? To clarify, God gives each of us free will. I assume this is because, even though God loves each of us and desires we all come to Him, He wants us to do so because we want to, not because He made it mandatory. At best the employer is self defeating.

    4. Marti says:

      You would think so, but it depends if the Bible study was a requirement for employment. This is a bit of a gray area indeed. I am curious to see how it turns out. At very high levels senior employees at Century Link are required to pray with senior executives. I agree that forced religion in a job is ridiculous, but it does sometimes occur.

    5. Jim W. says:

      How about this gang? We open up the book of Gods law and commands and see what he says? I’m thinking “Be ye separate.” Beware of the wolves.” Were not supposed to want these people in our church’s. Church’s are for Christian learning, fellowship & growth. “For the equipping of the saints.” Not outsiders? Just like your own wife or son won’t hear you trying to warn them about hell! This guy & these people are Gods problem. They dont wanna hear it! And only God can move them. Ours is to keep the church clean & holy.

  2. Kathleen Barrett says:

    The Bible study was part of the job, they are paid for the time. No one is FORCED to do the job, if you do not want to do the Bible study, go find a different job.

    1. Jason Bender says:

      does not work that way in the USA… If it did, I would pay my female employees their hourly wage during mandatory naked time with the boss….

      1. Jason Bender says:

        sorry. did not mean that… not “the female employees” should have said “the hot female employees”

        1. Jason Bender says:

          sorry. did not mean that… not “I would pay my hot female employees their hourly wage during mandatory naked time with the boss….” should have said “I would pay my hot female employees their hourly wage during mandatory naked time with the boss… which is a lot, lot less than I am having to pay them for that currently!”

          1. Alcoboy says:

            Skip it.

          2. b0blf says:

            Bender: What a filthy-minded, depraved, sad excuse for a rational, civil human being you are!

            You pollute and disrespect the people and purpose of this ULC site

            Why not seek some professional counseling? You’d be doing yourself and others a great favor!

      2. Jerry says:

        I believe you got this right – if the court accepts the contract as valid, it would open for a slew of discriminatory contracts with violations of all labor laws “just because you accepted the job”. Labor laws are there for a reason as a wide protection umbrella: to overrule the false premise that because you sign, you accepted it hence it is all OK and legal.

    2. Jason Bender says:

      Also, bible study is not part of the house painting process

      1. j says:

        Painting is not part of bible study? Bible study not part of painting? Depends on what he was hired for AND what the employee signed as a job description.

        1. Gary Hynous says:

          The only time I was required to say the Lord’s prayer was at the beginning of an AA meeting. You can’t legislate love or religion like politics. I hope his job description included prayer time..maybe praying for a raise or a different boss or maybe a quickie with some beautiful naked, willing lady. We should be so lucky! Guess I’d better go ask the good Lord for forgiveness. Shame on me.

          1. Jason Bender says:

            Good point.

          2. Jason Bender says:

            NEVER a quickie …. Always a longie!

          3. MicheaLuna says:

            It isn’t a ‘requirement ‘ at meetings. Everything at a meeting is completely voluntary and never required.

          4. Susan Chesley says:

            I’ve never been ‘required’ to say the Lords Prayer in a 12 step meeting, and I’ve never required anyone else to. You may want to check that meeting because as far as I’ve learned in 13 years, it’s not a Religious Organization and cannot be run as one. That’s a reportable offense to the Home Office.

          5. Carol W Waldenburg says:

            Gary, what part of the country have you been in that requires the Lord’s prayer at an AA meeting? That’s normally and by the “rules” of AA not a requirement. Maybe you were deep in the south in the “Bible belt” . . .

    3. j says:

      If thats what was signed on for in the job description??? The employee is SOL. We need to see EXACTLY what was signed.

      1. Jason Bender says:

        No, if one signs an agreement that is contrary to current labor law – the agreement becomes facially invalid and the courts may and will substitute their own judgement in the matter if asked to do so by one party….Why dont /cant you get that simple fact?

    4. Raymond says:

      If the company is trying to tell you to eat liver, You must, even if you hate liver. Failure to eat liver will be cause for termination.

      1. Craig says:

        Sure they can terminate you, but that doesn’t mean the company is protected from litigation…

      2. Craig says:

        That’s also because there are no federal laws protecting protein freedom. For religion there are . . . and since this country was intended as a melting pot of all cultures AND since the people who built and fought for this country did so running from exactly this kind of religious persecution, this should be a no-brainer for a judge.

        On the other hand, a Vegetarian would have a valid complaint for persecution of protein beliefs and sue the liver loving company–and win.

        And you could still sidestep it with a doctor’s sign-off against eating liver for health reasons.

  3. Jason Bender says:

    “CHA CHING!”

  4. Roy Wilson says:

    Religious discrimination! Is it really spiritual to use religion to control people much less force them to “being a Christian”, or whatever? This is the abusive side of “spreading the word”. Religious discrimination and abuse belongs nowhere!

    1. Jason Bender says:

      Like Catholics burning Protestants, Protestants burning Catholics, Spanish Inquisition, The Crusades, Muslim Jihads, Muslims in general, Anti Jewish Pogroms, on and on and on… there is nothing more fucked up and destructive in our history than organized religion….

      1. Lea Weisenbach says:

        Spot on

      2. William Burris says:

        Touched! Denominations are their own worst enemy. As far as this case goes, we live in a country that allows a jackass to award 3million dollars to a moron that didn’t know her coffee was hot. Be that as it may, win or lose,this boss is doing Christianity a great disservice. Christians by definitions follow Jesus. In what example did Jesus demonstrate we should force people to follow him? God, unlike this boss, is well aware that loyalty without free will is WORTHLESS!

      3. Maria Kantz says:

        So true! I attended parochial schools for 12 years and I saw many things and experienced many things personally that I still am dealing with today at the age of 67. Nuns were married to Christ? Hardly.
        Priests living as Jesus would? Hardly. I had so many questions during
        those years because what they taught just didn’t make sense to me but you never dared question anything.
        I haven’t gone to church in 34 years and there’s not a day that I question whether this was a mistake. The fear and control that the
        catholic church held over me for half my life was released when I quit.
        What i discovered is you don’t need a go-between to talk to God.
        You don’t need a confessor to absolve you.
        You aren’t a good person simply because you attend church…..and believe me I saw many who went to Mass daily who didnt act in a kindly manner to people once they got out the doors of the church.

        Our church here used to have 4 Masses on Sunday. They now have one. What does that tell you?

        1. Sara says:

          I agree 💯!

    2. Jason Bender says:

      Like Catholics burning Protestants, Protestants burning Catholics, Spanish Inquisition, The Crusades, Muslim Jihads, Muslims in general, Anti Jewish Pogroms, on and on and on… there is nothing more messed up and destructive in our history than organized religion

      1. j says:

        Well stated, Jason… Unfortunately, how humans have spun their personal phaneron has been a BIG brick in the wall to your statement.

        1. Jason Bender says:

          J -Hi buddy!
          I don’t understand what ” spun their personal phaneron” means (sorry) or the context of “has been a BIG brick in the wall to your statement.” I get the brick in the wall reference (Major Floyd fan), of course, but not a clue about the rest…

          Anyway, J, my usual kidding aside for a bit here, I am very curious… Please explain and elaborate – I feel like I am missing out on something “cool” and “woke” here – till now-ish in life, being fully up to speed in verbal comprehension *was* par for the course….. I am not liking the new feeling – one of being left behind – now that I am so far out on the wrong side of ‘middle age’ that my next stop is not a full power colonoscopy… nope… it is being taken to the edge of the glacier and being set adrift on an ice flow…

          (lol, OK – use of the word “woke” was a teeny tiny mini joke – but otherwise I am being serious… 🙂

      2. power to the people says:

        Except millenials, left winger militant gays, and the me too movement.

    3. Lori Mongillo says:

      It is discrimination and a means of forcing employees into Christianity. You’re right. I think it’s a pretty creepy form of attempted brainwashing. So you take a job knowing you will have to listen to some Christian rant every now and then. If you truly need the job, it’s no big deal, until they start telling you you have to read specific verses and read them to the others and you have to write out reasons why Christianity is the one true path. Then they tell you you have to memorize bible verses and preach to others, to your family. This could become very spiritually depressing. It sound innocent. I’m sure he thought is was as well, but many Christians would be happy to have a forced captive audience.

  5. Sharla says:

    I applaud this employer for being true to the Lord Jesus Christ. Every job should set aside time for fellowship and Bible study. He’s generous for letting them get paid for something they should be doing for free. Shame on Mr. Coleman for biting the hand that feeds him.

    1. Thom says:

      Religion doesn’t belong at work. Many people, many religions. Blatant discrimination!

      1. j says:

        Religions not belong at work? Depends on the job descriptions, job applied for and the intent of the company. All ppl we even THINK of hiring or even deal with in most cases MUST be faith bound, faith that conforms to OUR standards… As we are a sabbatical center & have to demonstrate, teach and avoid being a hypocrite in our teaching. We need to see what the employee signed.

        1. Jason D Bender says:

          Shalom, Friend… 🙂

    2. Jason Bender says:

      WRONG! Not going to an illegal mandatory sunday school is not “biting the hand that feeds him. ” he was fired,. wrongly… thus that hand had stopped feeding him – for an illegal reason… that’s why the hand is gonna get $750,000 bites! Jesus did not say force me upon people – and hurt them if they refuse. Christians (so called) like you are monsters… you turn away more people from God than you bring to him!!!

      1. j says:

        If someone paid me $xxx per hr to read a religious materials that differed from my standard faith.. Thats a job. I can quit, get fired or NOT apply in the 1st place. We need to scrutinize what the employee signed.

        1. Jason Bender says:

          hello J…

          YES! You get the gold medal for sure on the oppositit side – as you made an incredibly good point that forced me to stop and ponder things for a while… OK:

          “IF (Boss) paid me $nn.nn per hour to read (and discuss) religious materials … That is a job. I can quit, get fired or NOT apply in the 1st place.” YES, Perhaps…. Interesting question at minimum… Lets YOU can get hired and later fired from “a reading the bible and discussing it job”
          … BUT even if we accept that as 100% legal and normal — one still CANNOT – due solely to one’s having “walked off” their reading the bible job get punished and penalized by also loosing the unrelated *PAINTING JOB* that *ONE RELIES UPON FOR FOOD, WATER, CLOTHING, WARMTH and SHELTER!!!

          Sorry for the all caps… but that was some good crack grandma whipped up last night!

        2. power to the people says:

          I am glad a few “get this” and don’t just post reactionary statements.

        3. Jason Bender says:

          but – he is not complaining about loosing his bible reading job – he is suing over the painting job! there is a diff between painting and bible thumping…

    3. Nathaniel Robert Hunt says:

      Its against the law for a non religious job to force employees to attend bible or religious study, bet you wouldn’t support them if it was a Muslim company that forced Christians to do Islamic prayer

      1. JOLENE MARCELLA TRAVIS says:

        Christians would be smart enough to NOT take a job that goes against their views. Time to grow up people and take responsibility for your life and the choices YOU chose to make.

        1. Bill C. says:

          Amen! In the vernacular. Grow a pair (?) and take responsibility for your own actions. If you grab fire you get burned. If you accept a deal without reading the agreement you pay for it. The reasonable man assumption works in retail for the most part. I have never heard of it being applied in an employment contract that was spelled out. Also, for the most part, we (US of A) are independent cusses’ and out employment is “at will”. That means your employment can be terminated by you or the employer. Yep. Look it up.

    4. R. Lyle knight says:

      Wow could you hear the screams of injustice if a pagan empolyet equired his Christian employees to da ‘ve skyclad around a bale fiire as part of thier job wow the Evangelicals would be coming out of the wood work cries of Christianity under attack would ring from every vale Billy Graham would rise from the dead in protest lol no one has the right to force there religious beliefs o the not Christian new Muslim or pagan shame on Mr Dalh

      1. R. Lyle knight says:

        Wow could you hear the screams of injustice if a pagan employer required his Christian employees to dance skyclad around a bale fiire as part of thier job wow the Evangelicals would be coming out of the wood work cries of Christianity under attack would ring from every vale Billy Graham would rise from the dead in protest lol no one has the right to force there religious beliefs on others not Christian not Muslim or pagan shame on Mr.Dalh

        1. Kathleen Barrett says:

          We don’t know the religion of the employer, maybe not even Christian. I don’t see force, he does not have to work there. Just like anything someone might not like about a specific job, if you do not like it then go get a different job!!

      2. Jason Bender says:

        Kudo and the silver to R Lyle for a similarly effective argument – and one that is totally original and very creative, despite using the identical unassailable logic as the gold medal winner nathan hunt

    5. Dan Anderson says:

      Sharia – Do you really think that employees should be forced to study something which has to do with a faith-based belief of which they are not a member? Since you seem to be “Christian”, what if was mandatory that you attend Friday noon prayers in a Mosque? Remember, Jews, Muslims and Christians DO worship the same God of Abraham, just from different perspectives. Wouldn’t you then claim freedom of religion, to worship in your own way and not in a way someone else demands you do?

      1. Jason Bender says:

        We could call such oppressive rules as she is advocating “Sharia’s Law!” – LOL!!!

      2. JOLENE MARCELLA TRAVIS says:

        If someone does not like or approve of the work conditions, then they can get out and find another job. Plain and simple. Like it or lump it….Put up or shut up…..plain and simple.

        1. Jason Bender says:

          Put out or get out?

          1. b0blf says:

            I am disgusted, Bender, with your frequent off color insinuations, coarse double meanings, and inappropriate comments.

            You pretend to be intelligent, learned and cognizant of numerous issues of the day. But, the readers with a sense of decorum, a distaste for the outrageous, and a perception of decency are not fooled.

            I suggest you take your gutter talk and deposit in the nearest refuse bin.

        2. Michael Grace says:

          So it would be OK to pay 1/2 of the minimum wage and have dangerous work conditions, there are people that need the money and would be willing to work there “If someone does not like or approve of the work conditions, then they can get out and find another job.”????

    6. Lea Weisenbach says:

      Its brain washing!! And no respect for others.

    7. John D. Partin says:

      Sharla, let’s put the shoe on the other foot and say that the employer was an atheist and required even his Christian employees to attend lectures in support of atheism and not disrupt those meetings with religious objections (just as, presumably, these Bible studies don’t allow disruption of them with atheistic or non-Christian objections) or else lose their jobs. Would you support his cramming atheism down Christians’ throats, the same as you support this employer’s cramming Christianity and the Bible down his employees’ throats and applaud the atheist employer as much as you applaud the Christian employer? Would you say that the Christians should just grin and bear having atheism crammed down their throats, the same as you think that this employee just should grin and bear it and put up with having the Bible forced upon him? If not, then you are operating on a double standard and not in favor of Christians’ doing unto others as they would have those others do unto them, which is Jesus’ teaching for you, too. I’m quite sure that Jesus doesn’t want people’s being forced to listen to the Bible, but only those who freely come to Him on their own. Mr. Coleman isn’t biting the hand that feeds him because the employer has no right to “feed” him only as a lure to force Bible study on him and with a catch. It doesn’t matter if he read that in the employment agreement beforehand because that has NO!!! right to be in any employment agreement. Besides, he isn’t being “fed” there anymore and so can and should sue his employer.

  6. Jason Bender says:

    Mr. Hunt gets the credit for coming up with the most devastating point against the “team Dahled Up” side… “bet you wouldn’t support them if it was a Muslim company that forced Christians to do Islamic prayer” – it is an argument so powerful it may even sway the opinions of many on “Team Bible Nazis” – which is something that rarely happens!

    1. Kathleen Barrett says:

      If I got paid well and liked the job it wouldn’t bother me. Just because I am reading something, it does not mean I identify with it or become it. I would probably learn from it and that is it. It is still my choice whether to work there or not. I don’t see this as forcing someone to become anything or to even work there, maybe the employer is just hoping to have honest, trustworthy, and compassionate employees.

      1. Nathaniel Robert Hunt says:

        Kathleen Barrett would you be ok if I made Christians offer incense to Baal Hadad while working for me? or read his stories and pray to him?

        1. power to the people says:

          I guess you didn’t read her post?

        2. b0blf says:

          I guess you didn’t read her post?

      2. b0blf says:

        Excellent, Barrett!

  7. Jim says:

    I think a lot of folks are missing the point. IF he was told that it was a condition of his employment that he attend bible study and he knew this going in then I for one do not see a problem with his termination. If he was not made aware of this requirement for bible study then he would be well within his rights to sue. As an employer I think as with most of the things put out by ULC there is not enough info. I find it hard to believe that this guy was not made aware of the study. I think he just went with it for awhile so he could file a lawsuit. 750k for what? metal stress give me a break.

    1. Jason Bender says:

      Nope, Jim, thats no different than telling a woman that putting up with sex harrassment goes with the job and its OK because you told her before hiring her. Its illegal regardless… as is mandatory bible study… Thank God that is not the way the law works here….

      1. JOLENE MARCELLA TRAVIS says:

        Jason, Why are you such a bitter little man??? No one here is impressed with you, your demeaning language, lack of intellect, or anything else coming from you. Perhaps in the next life you can peace and harmony with the World.

        1. David Hoffman says:

          Jason, That is typical of people who are closed minded and can not make an intellectual response to attack you personally. Good job Jason.

      2. Rev. Jo-An Josephine says:

        Yes, good job Jason. I’ve read nearly every post so far and you make perfect sense. You are absolutely correct!

      3. Jim says:

        I disagree. Sexual harassment and a class teaching morals are two totally different things and if you cannot tell the difference then there is nothing else to say. There are other articles about this guy and as I said before he is just looking for a payday without having to work for it. Why did he leave the job he got after he was fired from this one? Was he fired from the second job also or did he actually quite. I read an article that said he went to work at another place, therefore he would not have lost wages. In order to win a lawsuit he must show harm and a loss of income. If he went to work at another company right after being let go he has no grounds for lost wages. Another article I read stated that he is now unemployed to take care of his kids which he just got custody of. There is much more to this story then is being told.

    2. Jason Bender says:

      “I think he just went with it for awhile so he could file a lawsuit. ” you obviously didnt read the article here: https://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2018/08/lawsuit_oregon_construction_wo.html

    3. b0blf says:

      Jim: Very well said!

    4. Jason Bender says:

      I gots yer “break” right here bub!

      1. Jim says:

        I’m sorry Jason but I do not understand your response do you agree or disagree?

        1. power to the people says:

          Jim- He’s the latest ULC blog troll.

          1. Jason Bender says:

            I … am…. Not…. An… ANIMAL!!!!

            LOL.

            NOT a troll, either – ….

          2. Paul says:

            If you’re not an animal or a troll, can you tell me what inspires your thoughts, opinions and comments? Serious question, please be truthful. I’m not judging here but i am curious.

    5. power to the people says:

      Jim- Thank you for that.
      I think most of the comments here have been reactionary, and/or inflammitory.

    6. Bill C says:

      Hum. I was going to comment however, you already covered my points. Thanks for that.

  8. THOMAS JOSEPH POST says:

    As a ULC Minister, I built my company on faith in Christ and God, but would never push my religion as a condition of employment. To me that would violate the 1st Amendment of the constitution. The freedom of speech the freedom of religion, and so forth. I hold the Constitution close to my heart as we are well aware of the Government, the States and their counties are stepping all over our constitutional rights. It’s sad that a good man lost his job because his boss pushes people who probably need a job very badly and preys on that to push his religion on people. Jesus tells us that we must come to him of our own free will. Jesus never said come with me or you won’t eat or clothe yourself.. Its better to let our faith come to people in good time. Never make it a condition of employment. I can see how the employer wanted like minded people to work for him, but you can’t step on the constitution or that man’s beliefs like this.

    1. Lea Weisenbach says:

      Your right.

    2. Carol W Waldenburg says:

      You’re very on point about the pushing and preying on . . . I have always found that a person living their life in such a way as a witness to their faith is the best evangelism!

  9. George Winfield says:

    Unfortunately they can do that now.

    1. Jason Bender says:

      George Wine Field … Care to make a friendly wager on that? i will lay you odds that the business owner is gonna get his ass handed to him financially – not just by the trial court, but by every appeals court that this matter appears before… up tp these SCOTUS…. There the odds drop to 50/50 – but, By then, the best possible outcome for the employer is there is just a partial empty victory on paper and a devastated bank account… The worst case scenario is a DEVASTATING DEFEAT ON PAPER combined with complete FINANCIAL RUINATION.

  10. James says:

    Just like school, one is not legally permitted to MAKE one pray or pledge. Moment of silence? Yes. Topic focused? No. To comment on this. I DO believe one would need to see the FULL employment agreement sign. And reconnoiter the verbiage used. B4 one can’t even speculate on a position or side here at this time w/ out more info. If the agreement is… ~You paint & read~ as a job duty / description? Then the employer hired a worker that is reneging on his duties. If the contract / agreement is poorly worded and written by the employer and appears to be unclear / on the fence? Then the contract writer has a duty to be clear & the law may lean towards the employee. Moralistically? No, the employer is not permitted (under most conditions) to MAKE the employee read the books. Again, unless they mixed in some contractual agreements here. If we hire someone at the sabbatical center, they MUST read, know & live by (walk the walk) the materials & philosophies we employ at the center.

    1. power to the people says:

      Thank you James, I don’t think most people got that.

      1. b0blf says:

        Right on, james.

  11. power to the people says:

    It will depend on WHAT HE SIGNED when he took the job. He shouldn’t have ASSUMED anything, and by saying he did, he may have hurt his case.
    No one is “forcing” anyone to do anything (Bible study). He signed on for it, went several times then decided he didn’t want to go…..so find another job. If you are flipping burgers at Bogus King and decide you don’t want to do fries when they tell you need to, you have two choices- fries or job hunting.

    Finally- I can’t believe some of the ignorant comments here. I see for the most part non-religious/trolls have taken over the ULC blog, and no Jason, (and a few others) I will not feed the trolls if you come at me begging for a morsel. 😉

  12. Jason Bender says:

    YOU WOMEN ARE THE WORST.

    Some dude says “blow me if you want this multimillion dollar cushy dream job” – 20 years ago – and you biatches scream until he is fired today, goes bankrupt and is criminally charged….

    while the leader of your #me too movement bangs an underage boy 2 years ago, lies about it today, pays boy off, her boyfriend commits suicide – bitach gets off scott free…

    When it suits you you say “he does not have to work there. Just like anything someone might not like about a specific job, if you do not like it then go get a different job!!” — until it does not suit you the you demand the guy gets fired.

    i hate women! you all suck in the bad way!

    1. power to the people says:

      Go away troll.
      Nobody except your gay pals want to hear you talk your crap against women…which also has nothing to do with this subject.

      Crawl back under the bridge you can from.

    2. JOLENE MARCELLA TRAVIS says:

      Jason, you really have to accept the fact there only 2 sexes on this planet; women and men. It is interesting you have such hatred towards women, considering you were birthed by one. Perhaps you could better yourself with inpatient therapy to help you overcome this hatred.

      1. Lea Weisenbach says:

        I think Jason is just jealous of women..That’s the problem…He thinks women have it easy…But he dose nor realize women can’t just beat the cramp out of their male abusers…I personally have deck a guy I worked with..I complained about him..etc..3 strikes your out…Sad thing is the women called the bosses on me…The bosses had a great laugh..We as a society have no respect for yourself and also not for others.

        1. Jason Bender says:

          You do have it easy. And, thank you for proving it for me. “I personally have deck a guy I worked with….The bosses had a great laugh” (I would have broken your jaw and then some, but thats just me….) You get to be violent without consequence. Men do the dirty, dangerous work while you demand equality in pay you shirk from equality in responsibility. Women act like their stinkies don’t stink – but they do! And, they go around crapping out the worst most evil and destructive thing ever to exist: people… disgusting!

          1. power to the people says:

            Your mother should have used contraception, that’s for sure.

          2. Jason Bender says:

            Would have been better than the hangar abortion your mamma failed at

          3. Lea Weisenbach says:

            And its so sad Jason that your mom never loved you. Unfortunately you are one of those crapped out and most evil..destructive thing that ever existed..Have a good day

          4. b0blf says:

            Bender: Are you craving attention? Or, do you have some personality disorder? Maybe, your upbringing was sadly lacking?

            Readers with a sense of decency; those with discernment of decorum; and those with a degree of civility find your comments obtuse and objectionable.

            If you want to offend, continue with your gutter talk. If you want to appear conversant with today’s issues, continue betraying yourself with your inane, irrelevant, and emotive diatribe.

            Others, besides myself, have suggested your comments are vain, ignorant, and not worthy of posting here. Take their advice, eh?

        2. power to the people says:

          Typical reply jason.
          I would stoop to your level, but I can’t seem to get that low. It obvious……you have had plenty of practice.

  13. JOLENE MARCELLA TRAVIS says:

    The best course of action for ANY job seeker is to ALWAYS research the company one applies to. I learned that back in high school in 1983. I have NEVER taken, or even applied to a company unless I fully know their practices, turn over rate, benefits, perks, etc. If not in line with my views, I apply elsewhere. Right to work/ terminate is right there in any employment contract.

  14. Jim says:

    Based on what I saw in the article posted online this employer is a second chance employer hiring people that have a record or have been through drug rehab etc. He makes this kinda like a mandatory training meeting. I have worked for companies who train their employees in ways to handle customers and in how the company wants you to handle things in general. I was not pushing Christianity per say just that the good book had lessons they could learn in life. This guy also went to another job after being let go but now is unemployed by choice so he can take care of his children that he just got custody of. I find that interesting as I would think that you would need a job to take care of children, oh wait I think that is what the law suit is for…..

    1. Lea Weisenbach says:

      The bible is not Christian..Its just a history book..that’s it..nothing more.
      The problem lies with the fact of cherry picking religions. Pushing their idea..There are other books out there that are much better.

      I feel religion should be taught in schools but not as a religion. The religion is the one that screws it up as to cherry pick to fit their ego.

      Children can see better than adults if they are allowed to share their views and not forced to think a certain way..

  15. Kathleen Baird says:

    If the employer insisted he go to classes on Muslim teachings, there would be no way anyone would think it a good idea.
    Unfortunately, in this era there are too many who call themselves Christians who live by the Old Testament instead of the Love & Tolerance preached by Jesus in the New Testament.
    Since separation of Church & State was paramount in the ideals of the Founding Fathers, in no circumstance should a company that is NOT a religious organization have the right, under the law, to dictate learning about the owner’s religion.

  16. Lea Weisenbach says:

    Let me tell you a story..Before WW2 the German people were denied work because they were not Jewish…And guess what happens..Hitler and decided it was best to exterminate all the Jews.

    This is why people hate Christians. If you want to be respected..Then respect others..Learn to practice not preach and this world would be a peaceful place.

    1. power to the people says:

      Not ALL Christians are “in yer face” Christians. I for one. People don’t even believe I am on the rare occurance I let on to the fact. People judge.

      I swear, I have tattoos, I am a “biker” and a ruffian.

      Here’s a common line- “YOU’RE A CHRISTIAN?!? No you’re not……are you?”
      There are “Christians” who would say I am not one, based on THEIR judgement, lol.

      ‘hypochristians’

      1. Lea Weisenbach says:

        I have friends that are Christian and I’m a survivor from Christianity. I have my religion and I dont wear it on my sleeve..Mine is a way of life. But its funny people think I’m an Atheist..I just let it go..I really don’t care because I see who the real person is..But I get a good laugh at the fact that people can’t beleive I’m such a nice person and I’ve been married for 40 years..Wow …I have morals.

        1. power to the people says:

          🙂 That’s what I like to hear!

        2. power to the people says:

          I guess I am what you may call a “modified Christian”. Such thoughts as creation and evolution go hand in hand, science and Christianity”/religion” coincide on most levels. ect. Not really sure what you’d lable me as. I call myself a Christian simply because I believe Jesus was an actual human being. But then I believe a lot of strange things….. 😉

          1. Lea Weisenbach says:

            Well power to the people..Labels really don’t mean shit..I just feel treat people the way you would like to be treated..no labels..namaste

          2. Lori Mongillo says:

            You sound like a Progressive Christian. They are the ones that move to a higher level of consciousness. They recognize that they connect to the Source through their faith and other folks connect to the same Source (or don’t connect all, which is their choice) through their faith. Open minded.

          3. Lea Weisenbach says:

            Power to the people. Labels are just labels. You can call yourself anything but being it is another.
            I myself don’t like labels because it sticks me in someone else judgement/definition.

            Jesus was not a Christian…Muhammad was not a Muslim and Buddha was not a Buddhist.

            All religions are someone’s idea…There is so much more out there to learn…Other books beside the bible that are much older..Life is a wonder. Im a firm believer that when everyone crosses my path on my journey of life. My purpose in life is to help everyone on their journey and help them find peace. Its not my place to make them think like me..or believe like me. Everyone is responsible for their life..Namaste..have a safe journey.

      2. power to the people says:

        Right on ladies, right on!

  17. Jim says:

    Peace on earth will never happen. Sad to say but it just is not in our nature. It would be truly wonderful to have no wars, no murders, no crime. The problem is there will always be someone like a Hitler or Stalin out there who will get people to follow them. The thing is that men and woman are not created equal despite what we want to believe. Therefore some will get others to follow and there will always be conflict. It’s sad but true. All we can do is to keep trying to do the best that we can do and have FAITH that things will get better. As for this person and I use the term loosely, Jason Bender I think based on his postings folks would be better off just not writing anything to him and ignore his posts and maybe he will go away.

    1. power to the people says:

      In other words……don’t feed the troll!

    2. Lea Weisenbach says:

      Its hard to ignore a troubled person..He has made some good points but he love to pull peoples change. He is a child inside that’s needs attention..I think you don’t feed the trol but also..We can’t ignore a troubled soul. Namaste..have a good day.

  18. Abderrahim Lamri says:

    Good day. Although I am christian and I love God, I don’t think this employment term is legal. Anyhow, forced religious education will never lead to anything good. Indeed I am not expert in US Laws but I am a Postgraduate student in English Law. As much as I know, Even if such term existed in the employment contract this is not, as per my understanding, conform to the statement on freedom of expression and religion as per Article I, Amendment I of the US Constitution. In case of breach of the constitution, any legal system built on that breach is condemned to collapse.

  19. Sol Wolf says:

    I can’t believe this!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is so obviously illegal, I can’t believe a lawyer would agree to take the case for the construction company. It is so obviously a loss in court. Employers can not force you to endure their religion. It is a violation of the employees’ right to practice his own religion. I hope the company loses everything. It should be boycotted.

  20. Jeff says:

    The young man should receive nothing…He signed a contract that stipulated that he attend the Bible Study. Like it or not he is at fault for not maintaining the stipulations for employment. This is just like having to wear a uniform or having to be a member of a Baptist Church to work in the Baptist Conference District Office. This isn’t about an employer forcing his beliefs on an employee, the young man even says that agreeing to go to Bible Study was part of the conditions of employment. The employer couldn’t do any more, he informed the young man before he offered him the job. And I find it difficult to believe the young man misunderstood, that a convenient line now that he doesn’t want to attend and that he will probable sue and try to ruin this mans business. All he had to do was say I don’t want to go to Bible Study, find someone else for the job.This is another example of people thinking they can use religion as the reason to sue and ruin another human beings livelihood.

  21. Alicia C says:

    I’m so glad NONE of you are MY attorneys! My parents, however, are BOTH attorneys. Having grown up around legal issues and having worked in a law office for years leads me to believe this man WILL win his lawsuit. It doesn’t matter what any of us think. It matters how the case is presented and argued. Why waste your time arguing here?

  22. sheryl A clyde says:

    Sigh when are people going to learn that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t force them to drink it. Shoving a bible in anyone’s face is going to make them hate it. With the current state of affairs there is going to be even more animosity towards Christians. IT is more important that we ACT like Christians instead of forcing people to read the bible. Following Christ’s teachings and example would be a excellent place to start.

    1. b0blf says:

      Clyde: ‘You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force him to drink it’. BUT, you can put salt in his oats . . . . and he’ll drink!

      When the issues of life are examined in relation to the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit is eager to create in that person an interest in the things of God and that person will want to know more.

      Your ‘shoving’, ‘forcing’ descriptions are emotive and usually are exaggerated generalizations.

  23. Paul says:

    Let’s all remember, our Constitution states “freedom from religion” and not “freedom of religion.” There are many faiths and beliefs that are personal to us all. In America we are essentially free “from” religion being forced upon us in any way. If you remember, the first settlers fled England to escape the church and the beliefs that were being forced upon them. Freedom is the foundation of our great republic. The moment you try to put your beliefs ahead of individual freedoms everyone loses. The freedom to practice the religion of our choice is what makes this country great. Freedom “from” religion says this clearly. Some try to debate the point, but it is written and has been since the beginning. Celebrate this freedom! Don’t try to force it upon others. It’s inclusive, not exclusive.

  24. Paadre Obstato says:

    Take the religion out of it and substitute statutory overtime. The law says time and a half for over 40 worked in a seven day week. The courts will enforce that and an employer cannot may waiving O/T a condition of employment. Not paying overtime is illegal. With a few exceptions (painting houses NOT being one of them), forcing employees to participate in religions activities is illegal. It doesn’t matter what the employment contract says.

    The employee will prevail. As I said in an earlier post, the employer is hoping for a shift in legal interpretation at a higher level on appeal, but I doubt that will happen.

  25. Jim says:

    What if he just called it a morals or ethics study for these second chancers and used the bible as a study guide? I did not see anywhere in any of the articles that I read that he made them pray or go to church or even asked them to attend a church. The employers attorney stated that it was used to help keep these individuals on a straight path.

  26. XaurreauX says:

    How pathetic that an employer needs compulsory attendance from his workers in order to prop up his religion, If it’s that profound everybody would automatically gravitate to it without coercion. So much for “faith.”

  27. Jim says:

    The employer is what is known as a second chance employer. He employs people who are x-cons x-drug addicts etc. People who have had issues in their life and tries to help them. The bible study was an ethics class if you will a morals class. You can say what you want but the bible is in many respects a good moral compass for how to live. That is what the employer was trying to do was to keep these folks on a good moral path. He was not requiring them to attend church, say prayers or even admit their was a god. It was just a way to try and help these folks. Maybe he was wrong in trying and maybe he should have just told these folks to kiss off and go back to the streets and rob, rape and pillage. In any event in my opinion he was trying to help and their is nothing wrong with that. Their are other articles on this out their with a little more info. I would suggest you read and get more facts prior to your next post.

  28. Deen Jackson says:

    There is insufficient valid evidence to offer any educated opinion as to the rule of law, or to even develop a personal opinion on this specific case. Reading all of the posted comments in their entirety has done nothing to change the facts of the matter, nor my opinion regarding same.

  29. Brian (@pontiacman64) says:

    I once worked at a county job where the ignorant clowns wanted everyone to ‘stand and pray’ at all county functions. They also wanted us to pray before the work day in the morning meeting. Another co-worker and myself refused to be part in such nonsense and walked out each time. There’s nothing the stupid fools could do about it except talk behind our backs I guess; that and call us devils. Fortunately, there was nothing the morons could do because the law was on our side.

    Unless the boss in this case was some stupid christian that’s been living under a rock, this kind of practice is against the law; unless it was clearly stated in the pre-employment paperwork that praying to an invisible man in the sky is mandatory for employment. Unfortunately these ignorant evangelicals feel a bit more empowered for the time being. In most if not all applications that I’ve seen, it’s stated that no bias can be based on; color, sex, religion, and nationality. Anyone who hires on with a weirdo like this particular construction boss is only asking for trouble if they didn’t have the afore mentioned paperwork protecting them to begin with.

  30. David Lewis says:

    Haven’t indigenous people been colonized enough by Christians already?

  31. Secretary3rd says:

    I know a very religious person who in Bible study ask the question why God would flood the planet kill all life except pairs of two just to wipe out man? Since the University of Israel says that there was not great flood in the first place. It is the Jewish Rabbi who have question parts of the Torah as being more story than facts.
    He turn that class study into questions more than answers.
    He was told to find another study group.

  32. Campuscoll says:

    At-will employment is a state by state law. It essentially means that you may be fired for many reasons. BUT, it is against federal statutes, which supersede all state laws, to fire someone because of religion, age or gender. Federal laws supersede state laws. This does not apply to religious organizations, including religious school teachers, where employment follows strict religious guidelines. A janitor at a Catholic school cannot be fired because he is a Baptist, if requiring Catholicism was not in his contract. That being said, this company is not a religious organization and the owner cannot fire someone because of the requirement of attending Christian Bible classes. Now, he attended the classes for months and said nothing, according to this report. I really don’t think he has a leg to stand on since he attended classes and was paid for doing just that. There was no requirement to believe what was being taught, just attendance. I can’t see where there exists a major problem here. If the employer required Christianity as a pre-requisite for employment then this guy has a leg to stand on because that cannot be done, legally. The company is not a religious organization.

  33. I.S. Johnson says:

    This would be funny if it was not so dangerous. This is unchristian, unamerican and quite frankly unbelievable. Faith comes from the heart. You cannot beat someone into faith, nor drag them there. The precedent that this could set is equivalent to the Taliban forcing women to wear Burkas in Afghanistan. So everyone would be okay with Muslim employers being able to require Christian employees to attend Koran study? Hindu employers will be allowed to have female employees attend Karma Sutra classes? Employers who practice Wicca can require you join the coven to get the job. All this leads to if you are not a member of my faith do not expect to be hired here. This is clearly discrimination on the basis of religious affiliation and that is illegal. This also would set the opposite precedent. Non-religious employers could simply refuse to hire any non-atheists. The Christ came as a new force that united people, not a divider of people. It shames his name when people twist faith into tools of power and control. Mr. Dahled needs to get over himself. Grace and Faith are action words. We honor our creator through the acts of kindness, compassion, empathy, service and self-sacrifice we bestow upon others, not in attendance at church services and the study of bits of ink on paper. If this basic truth eludes you may god uncover your eyes.

  34. b0blf says:

    isjohnson: You ought to do your homework before showing your ignorance.

    Christ did NOT come to unite people! His appearance/teachings caused DIVISIONS, NOT unity, as Matthew 10:34,35 (and many other verses) clearly state. If you would care to read the gospels, you would quickly and easily see that His three or so years of ministry resulted in dissension, turmoil, and violence.

    You’d do yourself and readers alike, a favor by carefully substantiating your comments.

    1. I.S. Johnson says:

      So Christ came to divide us is your stance? You call me ignorant when you state the savior of mankind came to cause division, interesting. An Ad Hominem attack seems a bit odd unless you have no facts to discuss. What the receivers of Christ’s message did with it does not change his intent. You cling so tightly to a set of writings compiled at least 350 years after Christ’s death and which were highly politicized by the struggle between the Syrian Church and the Church founded in Rome. Does God not speak to you in your heart and mind? Do all of you believe that God somehow is limited to words written on a page? I pity such a narrow understanding. Satan can quote scripture. It proves very little. The precious book also states repeatedly that many will read it but few will comprehend it. The freedom to worship as I see fit is the very reason the Puritans came to this country and stole it from the Indians. This freedom is a founding principle of our nation and democracy. Any requirement of faith as a condition to employment is counter to that principle and is unamerican and quite likely illegal. The gentlemen being informed about the condition is secondary to the matter.

      1. b0blf says:

        ‘is johnnson for real?’: What is your reading level?. I did NOT say ’cause’ division. YOU said that. So, you are wrong there!

        AND, how do you explain Jesus’ own words in Matthew 10:34,35?

        And, where in the Bible does it say (as you have stated) ‘many will read it but few will comprehend it’? WHERE?

        I, and other readers, quickly tire of posts like yours- inane, rambling, dis-jointed diatribes of misinformation.

        1. I.S. Johnson says:

          In your post of October 9th, the fourth word of your second sentence is “caused”. Yet you claim you did not say that? There are two versions of a sanctioned Bible, The Standard Edition (I read that one) and the King James. Yet in Barnes and Noble you can find nearly 37 bibles on sale at my last count about three years ago. Has Jesus or the Apostles dropped in to give new scripture or to change existing scripture? Perhaps you read scripture found on golden plates or who knows from where. Regardless, the only two points in the Talmud and the Bible are Love God with all your heart and Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The rest is commentary. Be well in your delusion. This what happens when faith and spirituality become a for profit business instead of an avocation. Life is not a win/lose event, its about growth through enlightenment.

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