Murray Law LLC Announces Settlement of Employment Discrimination Lawsuit Against Wyoming Medical Company Involving Alleged Forced Scientology Practices and Teachings

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Federal Lawsuit Alleged Wyoming Employer Required Employee to Participate in Scientology Religious Practices and Teachings and Fired Her When She Objected

The attorneys for Julie Rohrbacher announced today that she entered into a settlement agreement with Teton Therapy, P.C., a Wyoming-based physical and occupational therapy practice, to end federal litigation alleging that she was forced to participate in Scientology religious practices imposed by Teton Therapy, her employer.

Ms. Rohrbacher’s religious discrimination lawsuit was filed by Colorado lawyers, Steven L. Murray of Murray Law, LLC, and Thomas H. Mitchiner of Mitchiner Law, LLC, and Wyoming based counsel, Katherine Strike of Stanbury and Strike, P.C.

The federal lawsuit alleged employment discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on religion.

LAWSUIT BACKGROUND
The complaint alleged that Julie Rohrbacher worked as a front desk receptionist in Teton Therapy’s office in Lander, Wyoming. Jeff McMenamy is Teton Therapy’s Chief Executive Officer and owner. Teton Therapy has clinical offices in four Wyoming locations: Lander, Riverton, Cheyenne, and Sheridan.

The lawsuit alleged that Teton Therapy subjected Ms. Rohrbacher to required terms and conditions of employment based on Scientology practices and teachings and that Teton Therapy terminated her employment after she continually objected to the religious practices.

Specifically, the complaint and pleadings filed in the civil action alleged that despite Ms. Rohrbacher’s objections, Teton Therapy:

  • Repeatedly required and pressured Ms. Rohrbacher to take and complete “Breaking the Code: The Mysteries of Modern Management Unlocked.” The stated purpose of the Code Course is to teach principles directly emanating from L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology.
  • Denied Ms. Rohrbacher a pay raise until she completed the Code Course.
  • Offered Ms. Rohrbacher a promotion to a management position and then denied her the promotion after she objected to Teton Therapy’s directive to attend a week-long training course in Clearwater, Florida she reasonably believed was Scientology based training.
  • Terminated Ms. Rohrbacher’s employment.

LAWSUIT INFORMATION
On December 17, 2018, the lawsuit, Julie L. Rohrbacher v. Teton Therapy, P.C., was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming (Case No. 1:18-cv-00214-SWS).

On December 5-6, 2019, in an oral ruling and minute order, the court denied the Teton Therapy’s motion for summary judgment on Ms. Rohrbacher’s claim for religious discrimination concerning the terms and conditions of her employment. Because of the court’s order, the case was set to proceed to a five-day jury trial on January 6, 2020.

The amount of any settlement payment is confidential under the settlement agreement. On January 2, 2020, the lawsuit was dismissed by the court, pursuant to the parties’ joint motion and agreement.

CONTACT INFORMATION
Steven Murray and Thomas Mitchiner practice private and public sector employment law in Denver, Colorado. Katherine Strike’s firm in Lander and Riverton, Wyoming, Stanbury-Strike, PC, is a full-service law firm providing representation throughout Wyoming.

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