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A Michigan dentist faces a lawsuit after former employees reportedly said they felt pressured by the dentistâ€™s choice to stream Christian music and hold regular prayer meetings at the office.
Four former employees of a Michigan dentist are suing the clinician, saying she created a hostile work environment by streaming Christian music all day and “forcing her beliefs” on them, according to a report in The Washington Post.
The lawsuit claims that Tina Marshall, DDS, played the religious music at all times and held morning prayer meetings that went from optional to mandatory, according to The Post.
Marshall denies the allegations, and her attorneys told The Post she did not force any employees to disclose any religious preference or practice nor did she discriminate on the basis of religion.
Nancy Kordus, a former dental assistant at the practice and a plaintiff in the suit, told a local newspaper the music was a source of stress.
“To me, it was just gradually working the way into our minds,” Kordus told The Lake Orion Review in August. “We were all on edge. We were trying to be nice to the patients and do good dental work, but she kept forcing the music and her beliefs on us.”
The Post said Marshall bought the practice in 2008, but the disputed religious practices date back only to 2013, when she joined a local religious group.
Earlier this month, Marshall told The Lake Orion Review that many patients found the music comforting.
"Playing the Christian music is just to keep God on your mind,” she told the paper. “It's just soothing to the spirit. 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."
The case hasn’t yet gone to trial. Marshall’s attorneys are asking a judge to dismiss the case, suggesting to The Post that Marshall was being “attacked in this lawsuit for her Christian beliefs.”