LAKE ORION, Mich. — A Michigan dentist is being sued by several of her former employees who were allegedly scolded or fired for objecting to the Christian music she played at her practice.
Dr. Tina Marshall of Lake Orion is facing accusations of discrimination and violating the Michigan Civil Rights Act over the matter, which involves four former employees: Kimberly Hinson, Nancy Kordus, Tammy Kulis and Sara Bambard.
According to reports, Marshall played Christian music and the local Christian radio station at her practice during business hours, and eventually left it playing overnight.
“Playing the Christian music is just to keep God on your mind. It’s just soothing to the spirit,” she told the Clarkston News. “I can’t tell you how many patients I have come in and just make comments that it is so calm in here. They’re like, ‘I’m at a dentist office. This is weird.’ And we just smile.”
But some of her employees were unhappy with being subjected to the music.
“I told her I did not think it was right to play the music all the time, as we had a wide range of religious beliefs as patients,” Kordus said in a statement. “She told me ‘you have to plant the seeds’ and the music had to be played 24/7 even if no one was in the building ‘to keep the demons out.'”
She said that several patients “questioned” the music being played, and so Kordus turned on the television instead.
“So I was ‘disobedient,’” Kordus stated.
The complaint against Marshall also claims that the dentist held prayer gatherings with staff each morning and also prayed over her patients. Her former employees claim that the morning prayers eventually became mandatory, but Marshall denies the allegation and says no one was ever required to pray with her.
Kordus claims that she wrote to Marshall in 2014 to ask that she stop pushing her religion on others, and was soon fired. Kulis said that she resigned over the matter.
Attorneys for Marshall have requested that the lawsuit be dismissed as the dentist disputes the claims.
“[Marshall is] being attacked in this lawsuit for her Christian beliefs, based solely on her desire to play religious music and radio stations in the dental office of the business that she owns,” attorney Keith Jablonski told the Washington Post.
“We believe that when the facts, and not baseless allegations, are presented to a jury, we will establish that this group of former disgruntled employees are simply looking to profit off of their own prejudices towards Dr. Marshall and her Christian faith,” he said.