May 2021 Church & State Magazine | People & Events

A Pennsylvania woman is suing the Panera restaurant chain over claims that she had to endure discrimination because of her Pagan beliefs.

Tammy McCoy says she was fired by management at a Panera in Pleasant Hills after her boss learned that she is not a Christian, reported the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

McCoy, who describes herself as a practitioner of neo-Paganism, a nature-based faith, said she never initiated discussions about her beliefs while at work. But one day, Assistant Manager Kerri Ann Show men­tioned being a Christian and asked McCoy about her faith.

When McCoy replied that she is Pagan, Show made a face and told her she was going to hell, says the legal complaint.

McCoy’s lawsuit says that she hoped the issue would be dropped, but it wasn’t. Soon, Show and General Manager Lori Dubs cut McCoy’s hours and began harassing her. They allegedly told her that her religion was false and said they would pray for her.

McCoy reported the harassment to Panera’s human resources division but received no reply. A few days after that, she said, she was fired. Her husband, who also worked at the restaurant, was let go too.

Panera officials refused to discuss the case with the Tribune-Review.