Watch CBS News

Federal Agency: Long Island Company Made Workers Pray, Thank God

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A federal regulation commission has accused a Long Island health care company of forcing its employees to join prayer circles, thank God for having jobs and say "I love you'' to co-workers and managers.

A discrimination lawsuit was filed Wednesday by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against United Health Programs of America and its parent company, Cost Containment Group.

The EEOC claims the company required employees to practice a belief system called "Onionhead,'' which includes praying, discussing personal matters with colleagues and reading spiritual texts.

Employees who objected to the program were disciplined or terminated, according to EEOC.

Now, the agency is urging a judge to stop the firm's alleged practices and ensure employees receive back pay and other compensation.

The companies did not immediately respond to a telephone message.

Check Out These Other Stories From

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.