Jason Rines is suing an Olympia Sports store in Lewiston, Maine, because his former supervisor allegedly harassed him because he is an atheist.
Rines claims that he was forced to quit his job in January 2013, after working at the company for more than four years.
In his civil complaint, which must be filed before a lawsuit, Rines says that Lori Brooks, who became his supervising manager in October 2012, "began to interject her religious beliefs into conversations with [Rines] during work hours at the store. Brooks made it clear to [Rines] that she was devoutly Christian and that her religion plays a paramount role in her life."
After Brooks learned that Rines was an atheist, he claims that Brooks “began harassing him about his religious beliefs on a fairly frequent basis when they were at the store working together," notes SunJournal.com.
Brooks also asked Rines to go to her church, “making the workplace an uncomfortable and hostile place,” says the complaint.
Brooks also reportedly replaced Brooks' position with two people who were members of her church.
The complaint notes that in December 2012 some money was missing from Brooks' purse, but the only employee questioned about the incident was Rines. Brooks allegedly told the district manager and other employes that Rines had taken her money.
The Christian Post notes: "Shortly after the money incident took place, Brooks' pastor reportedly arrived at the store around Christmas time and gave Rines a Christian CD and a book written by a 'former atheist.'"
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Rines claims the harassment and discrimination caused him to quit his job.
He filed his complaint under the Maine Human Rights Act, which bans workplace discrimination on the basis of religion and was given a “right to sue letter.”