Dave Ramsey’s Company Dropped From ‘Best Workplaces’ List by Inc. Magazine Due to Lawsuit

"In court documents, Ramsey Solutions said O’Connor, who is not married, was fired for having premarital sex, which violated the company’s 'righteous living' policy." - C. Leaders

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Bert Perry's picture

The company was dropped from "best workplaces" for firing someone who was pregnant out of wedlock, but also after looking the other way when another employee was divorced after having affairs.  They've got the right to let people go for fornication, but not to be selective about how they apply the rule, in my view.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

T Howard's picture

To clarify: Inc dropped Ramsey's company not because of the lawsuit but because of Ramsey's morality code. The lawsuit just brought the morality code to public light.

Mark_Smith's picture

is the right place for a "morality code" for its employees. Church? Yes. A parachurch ministry? Yes. A for-profit financial business? For me the answer is no. He is not "god" over these people. If he wants to start a specifically Christian financial ministry (there are some out there) go for it. He didn't He started an old fashion "bidness" and now that he has a lot of $$$ and a lot of power he thinks he can lord it over people. I think it is another example of Dave Ramsey going too far.

WallyMorris's picture

I would think that a private business can set its own standards for employees, including a morality code, if it wishes. If someone doesn't like it, don't work there.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Larry's picture

Moderator

Just about every business has a morality code. ESPN just fired someone for violating it. The whole cancel culture is based on a morality code, often unwritten but a morality code nonetheless. As an employee you are representing the company and they have a right to expect a certain kind of representation. In most cases, those are part of an employment agreement so everyone knows going in.

Mark_Smith's picture

because they had sex you didn't approve of is petty. How does anyone know the moral condition of anyone else. Your perfect little employee could go home at night and watch 12 hours of porn and you'd never know!  Meanwhile you fire a woman who got pregnant and wasn't married. Its just petty.

Bert Perry's picture

My dad tells me that when he interviewed with one company after college, he was surprised when the hotel room he was in had a bar.  When he called my grandmother/his mom, she told him not to touch it, because what was going on was the company was figuring out whether he was a drunk.  

Really, the question is not whether or not the company has a morality code, but what it is.  Adultery or fornication as a part of it?  Well, that's part of what the FBI asks about (or at least used to) for their background checks.  If you've got sensitive information to protect, pillow talk can be a dangerous thing.  The trouble from a corporate perspective is that it really winnows down your applicant pool to virgins, married people, and liars while creating a way that women can be punished while men get off scot-free.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

T Howard's picture

Larry wrote:

Just about every business has a morality code. ESPN just fired someone for violating it. The whole cancel culture is based on a morality code, often unwritten but a morality code nonetheless. As an employee you are representing the company and they have a right to expect a certain kind of representation. In most cases, those are part of an employment agreement so everyone knows going in.

Larry, agreed. My publicly-traded company has a morality code, although they call it something else. Basically, if you do anything in public or on social media that can be construed as disparaging, threatening, or offensive to a customer, associate, or supplier, you can be fired.

Mark_Smith's picture

T Howard wrote:

 

Larry wrote:

 

Just about every business has a morality code. ESPN just fired someone for violating it. The whole cancel culture is based on a morality code, often unwritten but a morality code nonetheless. As an employee you are representing the company and they have a right to expect a certain kind of representation. In most cases, those are part of an employment agreement so everyone knows going in.

 

 

Larry, agreed. My publicly-traded company has a morality code, although they call it something else. Basically, if you do anything in public or on social media that can be construed as disparaging, threatening, or offensive to a customer, associate, or supplier, you can be fired.

OK, does YOU having a child with someone you are not married to "disparage, threaten, or offend a customer, associate or supplier" ?

T Howard's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:
OK, does YOU having a child with someone you are not married to "disparage, threaten, or offend a customer, associate or supplier" ?

Mark, that's not the point. The point is that a lot of businesses have morality codes, they just don't call them that.

The reason Inc dropped Ramsey was that it disagreed with the company's morality code (i.e. it contradicted Inc's morality code).

Mark_Smith's picture

Most business have a "don't make us look bad" code. That is not a morality code. NO CUSTOMER CARES how an employee got pregnant so it does not make the company look bad. By that I mean a regular business, and not a church or parachurch ministry. However, if you are trying to be "god" over your employees, you'll fire a pregnant woman. This is flat out atrocious.

If I work for XYZ Company from 8-5 M-F, what I do from 5:01PM to 759AM is NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS!!!!! And if you run a company it should be none of your business either.

dgszweda's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

If I work for XYZ Company from 8-5 M-F, what I do from 5:01PM to 759AM is NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS!!!!! And if you run a company it should be none of your business either.

Good luck, but that is not how it works anymore.  If you go on a racist rant with someone at Walmart and it is filmed, goes viral and subsequently gets picked up by news agencies, it will most likely result in you being released by the company because it violates the companies code of conduct.

Mark_Smith's picture

dgszweda wrote:

 

Mark_Smith wrote:

 

If I work for XYZ Company from 8-5 M-F, what I do from 5:01PM to 759AM is NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS!!!!! And if you run a company it should be none of your business either.

 

 

Good luck, but that is not how it works anymore.  If you go on a racist rant with someone at Walmart and it is filmed, goes viral and subsequently gets picked up by news agencies, it will most likely result in you being released by the company because it violates the companies code of conduct.

I am conceding that. You know what I mean. The thing is MAKING THE BUSINESS LOOK BAD, not personal morality. Putting a racist rant on Twitter, yes. Having a child out of wedlock, no. The first makes the business look bad, the second doesn't.

Bert Perry's picture

I think we can get a bit too picky about what Ramsey's company is doing.  Every company has a slightly different set of rules, written and unwritten, where violation will get you disciplined or fired or worse.   My company's rules are certainly different from Ramsey's, and that's OK.  

Regarding how appropriate the rule in question here might be, Ramsey is in something of a pickle, IMO.  If he had a lot of people on staff who were not chaste, a lot of customers would indeed flee for Crown Financial and other ministries doing about the same thing as Ramsey.  On the flip side, since pregnancy is something of an unmistakeable thing, the rule will indeed tend to discriminate against women.  It can't be hidden easily.

Note here that in this case, that's not what's at issue.  What's at issue is that the company seems to have enforced the rule in one case but not another known case.  That's the absolute worst thing you can do with a company policy--enforce it selectively.  For that matter, lesson for all of us, it's the worst thing we can do with church policies, too.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

Objecting to firing because you don't like that a woman got pregnant and is not married is not being "picky." Firing the woman was patently absurd.

Mark_Smith's picture

When you start a business there are certain things that you cannot control, nor should you want to control. One of them is who they have sex with. Another is who they live with.

Focus on your business, not trying to control their morality.

Hey, if they can fire this woman for having sex and not being married, then by logic you could be fired for going to a church the owner doesn't like. What if your church had a scandal that hit the news. You are a deacon or elder there. Your boss finds out cuz someone saw you attend there and have a leadership position. The company starts to take heat so they fire you. Is this ok?

T Howard's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

When you start a business there are certain things that you cannot control, nor should you want to control. One of them is who they have sex with. Another is who they live with.

Focus on your business, not trying to control their morality.

Hey, if they can fire this woman for having sex and not being married, then by logic you could be fired for going to a church the owner doesn't like. What if your church had a scandal that hit the news. You are a deacon or elder there. Your boss finds out cuz someone saw you attend there and have a leadership position. The company starts to take heat so they fire you. Is this ok?

Mark, again you're missing the point. You may not like Ramsey's morality code. In fact, you may despise it.

Great!

Solution: don't work for Ramsey.

However, if you choose to work for Ramsey knowing the morality code, then you can't complain when you're fired for breaking it. Doesn't matter if it's selectively enforced.

Bert Perry's picture

Tom, keep in mind that it does matter if it's selectively enforced....and this is something that we ought to note regarding church governance as well.  If you enforce a rule against some people, but not others, what you're doing, rhetorically speaking, is to hang out a sign in front of your business or church saying "please sue me." 

Again, in this case, advantages and disadvantages exist for the specific policy, but you definitely don't want to be in the position of selective enforcement.  

One other note; Mark pointed to the reality of employers possibly starting to fire people based on worshipping at churches/etc., which practice certain things that are obnoxious to that employer.  Per what David noted above, that's simple reality these days.  Right now, it's rampant bigotry that will do the trick.  Going forward, it might be something as simple as refusing to give your favored pronouns.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

josh p's picture

I would be horrified if my boss fired me for being a Christian but it’s his business. If I went into it knowing that was a requirement of working there I guess I can’t complain.

dgszweda's picture

josh p wrote:

I would be horrified if my boss fired me for being a Christian but it’s his business. If I went into it knowing that was a requirement of working there I guess I can’t complain.

Actually you can complain.  If his sole reason for firing you was that you were a Christian, that is illegal within the US, and you would be subject to remedy.

T Howard's picture

These are the protected classes with regards to employment:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex (including pregnancy)
  • Sexual orientation
  • National origin
  • Age (40 years or older)
  • Disability or genetic information

I assume Ramsey Co will argue that they didn't fire the woman because of her pregnancy, but for violating its morality code about premarital / extramarital sex, which resulted in the pregnancy.

Mark_Smith's picture

dgszweda wrote:

 

josh p wrote:

 

I would be horrified if my boss fired me for being a Christian but it’s his business. If I went into it knowing that was a requirement of working there I guess I can’t complain.

 

 

Actually you can complain.  If his sole reason for firing you was that you were a Christian, that is illegal within the US, and you would be subject to remedy.

And so is firing someone for being pregnant.

josh p's picture

dgszweda wrote:

 

josh p wrote:

 

I would be horrified if my boss fired me for being a Christian but it’s his business. If I went into it knowing that was a requirement of working there I guess I can’t complain.

 

 

Actually you can complain.  If his sole reason for firing you was that you were a Christian, that is illegal within the US, and you would be subject to remedy.

Yes I could legally (although I don't believe that should be a law but that's another discussion altogether), but I wouldn't if I knew going in that was a rule. 

Mark_Smith's picture

Doesn't Dave have more to worry about than whether an employee had an "appropriate" sexual relationship. I mean, who cares? He's a running a huge business. Employee 977 isn't married but had a child. So? Get a grip. Leave some things to God bro.