Religion

Ex-Kansas State Employee Claims She Was Fired For Not Going To Church

| by Michael Allen

Courtney Canfield recently filed a lawsuit against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's office and Kobach's Assistant Secretary Eric Rucker for reverse religious discrimination. Canfield's lawsuit claims that Rucker told her grandmother that she was being fired not going to church.

Canfield's lawsuit says that after being hired by the secretary of state's elections division in January 2013, Canfield began getting invites to religious gatherings held in Kobach's office from Debra Bannister, an assistant to Kobach, notes CJOnline.com.

Canfield's lawsuit says she never went to the religious gatherings and was not a regular churchgoer.

The lawsuit claims Canfield had a good record until Nov. 15, 2013, when another employee said that Canfield used Deputy Secretary Kathy Sachs’ office telephone for a personal call. Canfield maintains the call was about a medical issue that she wanted to keep private.

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On the same day, Rucker went to the home of Canfield's grandmother, Margie Canfield, according to the lawsuit, and “proceeded to tell Margie that she needed (to) terminate (Canfield) despite the fact that she had no direct authority over her employment.” The lawsuit also claims that Rucker “repeatedly and emphatically indicated a basis for her termination as the fact that, 'She just doesn't go to church.'"

The grandmother, an administrator with the Kansas Republican Party, did not do the firing, so Canfield alleges that Rucker fired her three days later.

Canfield also claims in her lawsuit that she complained about her termination to the Kansas Human Rights Commission, which dismissed her complaint in July 2015, notes WLBW.

Canfield also filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and received notice of a right to file a lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Justice in May 2015.

Kobach's office has not issued any comments over Canfield's claim.

Sources: WLBW, CJOnline.com / Photo credit: CGP Grey/Flickr