The campus of Ramsey Solutions headquarters at Berry Farms in Franklin, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 2, 2022.
The campus of Ramsey Solutions headquarters at Berry Farms in Franklin, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 2, 2022.

The man saw Ramsey Solutions as a place where he could grow and live out his faith-inspired values after rededicating his life to Christ.

In a letter to Dave Ramsey, the CEO of Ramsey Solutions, the employee's mother said that when she saw the faithfulness of God, she was able to restore her son's life back to her.

When his wife was pregnant, everything changed for him.

One executive told colleagues that the issue was that they just got married.

The employees conceived their child before they got married, according to the executives. It is against the company's "righteous living" policy to have sex outside of marriage.

There was some uncertainty but the executives were mostly on the same page.

I don't know if that will change anything, but he got her pregnant before he arrived here. Michael asked in an email.

No, they decided, so they had a meeting with the employee.

The company's human resources committee was told in an email that the employee had been fired. He said he understood that we have to be consistent and that getting married would be the right thing to do.

One example of how Ramsey Solutions encourages workplace conformity to a conservative evangelical Christian ethic is the episode.

The man's account, his mother's letter and company emails are included in public court filings as part of a federal lawsuit against Ramsey Solutions by a former employee who accused the company of discrimination when she was pregnant. The name of the man is blacked out.

A third federal discrimination lawsuit has been settled by the company.

At a crucial time for businesses like Ramsey Solutions. For-profit companies are at the center of a national debate about how their owners can express their views and how those rights translate to their employees and customers.

The courts have been sympathetic to the religious liberty claims of conservatives. The U.S. Supreme Court gave them some important victories. The high court heard oral arguments in a new case this month.

The sexual activity policies of Dave Ramsey's company have come to light.

The Supreme Court supports a website designer who doesn't want to marry same-sex couples.

Kent Greenfield, Boston College professor of constitutional law and corporate governance, said that there is an inevitable tension between a broadening engine of equality and the right to be free from discrimination. There's a First Amendment theory that's paying more attention to the rights of individuals and companies.

Ramsey Solutions is entitled to its religious beliefs, but should use them in a way that is clear, consistent, and informed by adequate training in anti discrimination compliance, according to experts.

According to a review of more than 1,500 pages of emails and depositions included in the O'Connor lawsuit, some policies at Ramsey Solutions lack specificity and lead to confusion among executives who enforce those policies.

Legal concerns are caused by the revelations. Some people have doubts about the company.

The mother of a man who was fired for having a child before his wedding wrote a letter to Ramsey.

She wrote that it cuts the legs from under someone who is putting their faith in people again.

Ramsey Solutions did not reply.

Proof through consistency

The decision to fire the employee who got married after having a child was different from the decision to fire the employee who was having an affair.

An oral sex act had begun but was not completed according to Hogan, who was a high-profile personality for the company.

The company leadership was approached by Hogan's wife with information about the affair. According to depositions and emails included in the O'Connor lawsuit, Ramsey and other company officials made mockery of Hogan.

The operating board, made up of members of the company's senior leadership team, met after learning about the extramarital sex. According to depositions with Ramsey and three other executives, oral sex outside of marriage isn't a violation of the righteous living policy.

Ramsey said that they were walking with a broken man.

Ramsey and other senior leadership were confronted with how Hogan had multiple affairs and lied to them about it.

Is Dave Ramsey's empire the best place to work in the United States? You are out if you say no.

According to depositions, Ramsey and at least three other executives said they don't think oral sex outside of marriage should be terminated. They were not able to cite scriptures to explain their reasoning.

There shouldn't be a requirement to recite Bible verse to back policy decisions.

According to his book, "Corporations Are People Too (And They Should Act Like It)," a corporation should have to show its religious views have been consistent for a long time.

Courts should require more proof from companies that they hold a religious belief than they do now.

rity of belief is a requirement

Religious rights and ‘clear-cut rules’

The Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby has led to more protections for companies like Ramsey Solutions.

Corporate separateness is a legal framework that distinguishes a company's investors and owners from the company. Wade said that the people who invest in businesses are separate from the business.

The owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores wanted the opposite in the Supreme Court case. They didn't want to cover contraceptives for their employees because of their religious beliefs.

According to his book, the Greens wanted to claimbby Lobby because of its shareholders' beliefs.

The court's decision paved the way for Ramsey and his executive team's beliefs to be the basis for the policies that apply to all Ramsey Solutions employees.

The two law professors co-signed a brief in the Supreme Court case against the religious protections for companies.

As someone who is generally more supportive of those protections, C. Scott Pryor has some concerns.

It can be part of the ethos of the firm if Ramsey Solutions has clear-cut rules on personal matters. It has to be spelled out.

According to a copy of the policy description and depositions contained in the lawsuit, the righteous living policy doesn't explicitly state which behaviors, such as intercourse versus oral sex, warrants the firing of someone.

According to depositions and company emails included in the O'Connor lawsuit, the company fired at least four employees after learning that one of them wasn't married and was living with a partner. Some employees admitted to sleeping with their partner when they were confronted by their supervisor.

When we don't have a consensus on what living properly is, you have to specify. This is a case study on how to avoid it.

When norms serve as policy

She said that supervisors didn't cite a policy when they fired her.

The employee talked about her story in an interview with The Tennessean. In interviews with The Tennessean, three other people corroborate the former employee's account.

She gave a copy of the nondisclosure agreement to The Tennessean in order to avoid being retaliated against for speaking out.

Former Ramsey Solutions employees are speaking out. This is why.

A former female employee at RamseySolutions said in an interview that they are a complementarian group and that men and women have different roles.

The O'Connor lawsuit has an issue with complementarianism. Andrew Walker, a professor at the Southern Baptist seminary, was brought in by Ramsey Solutions to speak to the issue.

According to court memos, Walker spoke in favor of complementarian views at Ramsey Solutions. There is a transcript under seal.

There was resistance when she spoke her mind or didn't agree with the suggestions of her supervisor.

Someone is controlling your voice. The former employee said that it meant that she didn't have the right to speak truth unless she was willing to accept it.

Both a male department head and the company's chief marketing officer, who is female, expressed concerns about the employee failing to meet expectations for how female employees in the rank and file should act.

The employee was told to be more traditional by the chief marketing officer after she was fired.

When executives told the employee of her dismissal, the conversation with the chief marketing officer was part of the meeting. The other men didn't speak.

After the meeting, the company offered the employee a large amount of money in exchange for agreeing to the terms of the agreement.

‘Implementation of the law’

Ramsey Solutions denied allegations of gender discrimination in O'Connor's lawsuit and said it was simply enforcing its policies.

The company fired three women, including O'Connor, for violating the righteous living policy and who were pregnant and unmarried at the time of their dismissal.

The campus of Ramsey Solutions headquarters at Berry Farms based in Franklin, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 2, 2022.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires companies to comply regardless of their policies or religious beliefs, according to Wade, a professor at St. John's University. Title VII forbids discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex and national origin.

Wade said that compliance doesn't happen often because of the law itself but because of the lack of implementation of the law.

Lopez oversaw a team that included a compliance officer. The human resources committee and the operating board have the final say on firing an employee. There is no formal training in Title VII compliance.

In addition to the three federal discrimination lawsuits against the company, Lopez said in a deposition he is aware of four or five charges of employment discrimination filed against the company.

A discrimination lawsuit was settled by Ramsey Solutions.

Dave Ramsey was sued formocking an employee over COVID precautions.

Discrimination charge files are not released to the media by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Wade said it was hard to peer into what was happening in the workplace. Private sector actors should govern themselves according to a lot of regard.

Preserving the ‘brand’

Ramsey Solutions is good at self- governance.

It's part of that. According to depositions and company emails, at least nine former Ramsey Solutions employees signed non-disclosure agreements after being disciplined for righteous living policy violations

Company software caught employees viewing pornography online.

According to emails and depositions, at least a couple employees caught with pornography participated in a recovery counseling program instead of being fired. One of them received counseling through a Christian program.

The Church of the City has a relationship with Ramsey Solutions. Ramsey Solutions has guest speakers at its weekly all-staff devotional meetings who speak about Christian values.

The suburbs are the new frontier for American evangelical Christians.

One layer in a larger system is the righteous living policy.

Ramsey is steadfast despite some criticisms. Policies and practices serve a bigger purpose for him.

If an employee is doing something that is contrary to Christian beliefs, the people that we deal with in the Christian community would feel that we are hypocrites. The brand would be damaged by it.

Liam Adams is a religion writer. He can be reached via email at or on the social media platform of his choice.

Dave Ramsey's "righteous living": Religious debate at Ramsey Solutions