Lisa Nelthropp Brought Her Personal Beliefs To Work

Ms. Nelthropp was fired from her job assisting the disabled for “bringing her personal beliefs into the workplace.” Her offense? Being one of multiple employees to discuss their personal beliefs about faith; however, because her employer disapproves of her religious beliefs, Ms. Nelthropp was terminated from her job. The Center for Law and Religious Freedom has helped Lisa file an employment discrimination case with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Maine Human Rights Commission.

In 2019, Lisa Nelthropp began work at Port Resources in South Portland, Maine. Lisa was responsible for assisting people with developmental health challenges, and her job required her to stay at a client’s home for a week at a time and be available 24 hours each day. One day, Lisa was helping some trainees take down Halloween decorations when she and the trainees began discussing their personal beliefs about matters like religion. According to one of the trainees, others were also “very engaged” in the conversation. 

Just three days later, managers from Port Resources informed Lisa that she was fired. It was not until several days later that Lisa received a letter explaining that she had been fired for “bringing her personal beliefs into the workplace.” Despite the involvement of others in the discussion, Lisa was singled out because of a complaint about her “overwhelming religious commitment.”

The Center for Law and Religious Freedom, in conjunction with the Whiting Law Firm, filed a religious discrimination complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Regarding Ms. Nelthropp’s termination, Reed Smith, the Director of Litigation at Christian Legal Society, stated, “It is clear that Ms. Nelthropp has been unlawfully persecuted for her faith beliefs, and Christian Legal Society plans to rigorously defend Ms. Nelthropp’s rights under the law.”

In September 2020, the Center submitted her response to the employer’s response to a Maine Human Rights Commission’s questionnaire.