North Texas

Lewisville Doctor Accused of Religious Discrimination

A Lewisville doctor faces a federal lawsuit, accused of forcing employees to attend daily Bible study meetings.

Shepherd Healthcare is owned by Dr. Tim Shepherd and his wife, Virginia.

A former employee, Almeda Gibson, claims the Shepherds fired her because she asked to be excused from the mandatory morning meetings, which begin with a discussion of biblical principles and Christian faith.

"She went to the Shepherds and said, 'You know, I follow a different religion, I don’t want to be there when we're doing a Bible study,'" said Meaghan Shepard, a trial attorney with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

"The complaint alleges she was told at that point she should probably start looking for another job, and the next day she was fired," Shepard said.

Federal law prohibits religious discrimination, and requires employers to reasonably accommodate their employees' religious beliefs.

The attorney for Shepherd Healthcare disputes the claims.

"This is not a meeting that was required all of the time, it was not always a religious content, and if somebody wanted to not attend they had every right not to attend," said attorney Thomas Brandon.

According to the lawsuit, three other former employees have similar stories of religious discrimination.

The lawsuit seeks back pay, lost wages and damages.

Contact Us