Ten former employees of United Health Programs of America won a $5.1 million judgment in federal court after being coerced to follow their boss's unconventional religious beliefs.
"I'm ecstatic. Justice was served," Francine Pennisi, one of the ex-employees, told the New York Daily News. Pennisi and others, backed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sued United Health and its parent company, Cost Containment Group, in 2014.
A jury in Brooklyn ruled in favor of the former employees in late April.
The religious coercion that workers had to endure included following "spiritual cleansing rituals" and seminars about a cartoon character named Onionhead. The Onionhead figure was created by a woman identified as the aunt of the CEO of Cost Containment Group. She reportedly implemented the rituals and even had a hand in hiring and firing decisions. The Onionhead character was reportedly used to symbolize layers of...