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Catholic woman heartlessly fired for refusing to support Scientology

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'In reality, [the] defendant sought a reason to terminate an employee with differing religious views.'

Grecia Echevarria-Hernandez is a Catholic who was pressured to take part in Scientology at work. When she refused, she was passed up when raises were available and was eventually fired.

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Highlights

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Echevarria-Hernandez filed a wrongful termination and discrimination lawsuit April 26 against her previous employer, AffinityLifestyles.com Inc., which also goes by the name Real Alkalized Water.

In a statement released on Tuesday, AffinityLifestyles.com Inc. owner Brent Jones told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he has been involved with Scientology since 2010.


Jones' son, Blain Jones, is a Republican running for Los Vegas Assembly seat in District 21. In response to news of the lawsuit, the younger Jones simply replied, "I have not seen the legal documents at this time, so I cannot comment on the alleged claims."

Though the Jones' refuse to comment, Echevarria-Hernandez claims she was hired in March last year as a "brand ambassador" for Real Water.

The first day on the job, Echevarria-Hernandez was required to watch several videos with religious themes, including "The Secret" and other Scientology-based undertones.

After working with the company for a while, Echevarria-Hernandez explained her supervisor approached her with a "self-betterment" class, saying she would be eligible for a 25-cent raise should she attend any of the classes.

During the first class, Echevarria-Hernandez realized it was focused on Scientology. As a devout Catholic, she felt uncomfortable and chose to leave the class early.


When she told her supervisor she was not interested in Scientology as it is against her religious beliefs, she was considered ineligible for a raise.

Echevarria-Hernandez's lawsuit claims the "Plaintiff felt alienated by all of the other employees because they all held the same religious beliefs, and clearly did not approve of her choice to not participate."

Seven months into her employment, Echevarria-Hernandez said her supervisor cited she had a poor work performance and did not complete her duties, resulting in three reports filed against her. The next day, she was fired from the company.

The lawsuit mentions this and states: "The termination was not based on deficient job performance as defendant claims. In reality, defendant sought a reason to terminate an employee with differing religious views."

Echevarria-Hernandez is seeking compensation for past and future lost income and benefits, unspecified damages for emotional distress, and punitive damages.

No court date is currently set.

Amy Rose, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, explained Echevarria-Hernandez must prove she was fired and denied raises based on religious discrimination, or must prove the religious environment in the workplace kept her from completing tasks.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

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