Woman Claims Company Fired Her Because She Wasn't Christian Enough

(Photo: Gulf Winds International; Facebook; LinkedIn)President of Gulf Winds International, Todd Stewart (L) and Dee Anne Thomson (Top R).

A 52-year-old Texas woman has filed a lawsuit against a Christian third party logistics company she alleges fired her because she was not Christian enough and failed to examine her "walk with Jesus" after she was counseled about it on the job.

The woman, Dee Anne Thomson, a mother of five girls, charged Houston-based Gulf Winds International with age and religious discrimination and retaliation in the lawsuit. She alleges that the company fired her after she refused to distribute religious literature to her subordinates at work.

Gulf Winds International, which employs some 200 people, declares on its website that "Our mission is to glorify God by providing world class logistics services through continual investment in our people, clients, community and the world we live in." They also aim "to be the premier provider of third party logistics services in the markets we serve." The company has partnered with ministries to build more than 100 churches, orphanages and hope centers in 27 countries around the world as part of their mission.

Todd Stewart, the company's president, attends Humble Areas' First Baptist Church with his family where he serves as a deacon and adult life group teacher. He advertises his faith boldly on the company website noting that he "believes the business is here to serve a greater purpose and holds strongly to the biblical servant leadership model that empowers team members to grow personally, professionally and spiritually."

He is also a proud member of the C12 Group which is described as America's "largest network of Christian CEOs, business owners, and executives."

Thomson, who at one point served as a manager of up to 43 employees, charged in the lawsuit that, "Despite the fact that they (company) are subject to laws regarding religious discrimination, defendant on a daily, routine, and regular basis sent emails containing Christian religious information, quotes and prayers to employees."

The suit charged that the day after the 2012 election, the company's then chairman Steve Stewart, who died in January, sent out a "long, odd email outlining how disappointed he was that Romney did not win and what that meant for the country."

Thomson charged that the company fired an employee solely because she had a rainbow sticker on her car, assuming the sticker meant she was gay.

She noted as well that "All of upper management employees attend C12 Christian group during work hours. ... Defendant brought a vendor to this expensive forum and after that vendor did not continue attending [and] no longer did business with him."

Thomson further claimed that the company "published religious booklets containing Gulf Winds International, Inc., on the books and distributed them through employees."

She said some employees complained to her that they felt they were being forced to distribute the books and did not feel comfortable doing so. She explained that she relayed this situation to the company prior to being fired.

"On Sept. 22, 2014, the president of the company took Plaintiff to lunch and told her in an inference that she was not Christian enough and that she needed to examine her walk with Jesus. He also told her in a further religious reference, that she needed to witness to them to touch their lives, in reference to her reports," the lawsuit said.

Weeks later she was informed that she would be moved to another location of the company and replaced with another manager who was younger and had no experience in her area.

The company told her that "they were giving her grace from God and that grace would come back to them as that is how God works." She was subsequently terminated.

Thomson is now seeking monetary relief between $200,000 and $1,000,000.

The Christian Post reached out to Gulf Winds International for comment on Friday but company president Todd Stewart was not immediately available.

Contact: leonardo.blair@christianpost.com
Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair
Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost