Manuel Torres has filed a lawsuit against a lawsuit against the Lee County Sheriff’s office, claiming he was fired because he refused to train a new female hire because his religious beliefs do not let him work alone with females.
Torres worked as a deputy for Lee County Sheriff for five years when his boss asked him to train a female deputy in July 2017. He asked his boss to excuse him of this duty because he “holds the strong and sincere religious belief that the Holy Bible prohibits him, as a married man, from being alone for extended periods with a female who is not his wife.”
According to the lawsuit, the sergeant alternatively granted and denied him this accomodation and that his superiors were angry over his religious beliefs.
Two months later, Torres was fired from his job.
“Defendant LCSO fired Plaintiff because he continued to request a religious accommodation from a job duty that violated his sincerely held religious beliefs and complained about religious discrimination,” the complaint states.
Torres says that the Lee County Sheriff’s office gave false and negative referrals to prospective employers after his termination.
The firing and rejections from jobs caused Torres a “loss of income and benefits; loss of quality and enjoyment of life; (and) loss of reputation,” according to the lawsuit.
Torres is seeking $300,000 in compensatory damages and $15,000 in punitive damages.