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Employees Allegedly Forced To Practice Scientology, Scream At Ashtrays At Florida Business: EEOC

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(Photo By Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
(Photo By Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

A Florida medical company stands accused of forcing some of its employees to spend at least half their workday participating in courses associated with the Church of Scientology, according to a recently filed complaint.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which filed the complaint on May 8 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, alleges that Dynamic Medical Services required employees to engage in activities including staring at someone for eight hours while motionless, screaming at ashtrays and pushing someone out of the way to get through a door.

Beatriz Biscardi, a trial attorney representing the employees, told The Huffington Post that the employees were clear that the courses were associated with Scientology.

In a statement faxed to The Huffington Post, Dynamic denied the EEOC's "baseless allegations" and said that it is committed to the diversity of its staff. Dynamic has two clinical locations, one in Miami and the other in Hialeah, Fla.

Rommy Sanchez, who Dynamic is accused of firing after she stopped attending the Church Of Scientology regularly, eventually completed enough courses to be taken to the church by a Dynamic employee. She was also required to connect herself to an electro-psycho-meter, or "e-meter" -- a Scientology religious artifact.

The "e-meter" measures the "spiritual state or change of state of a person," according to the Church Of Scientology's website.

Sanchez was also forced to do a "purification Course," which consisted of jogging on a treadmill and taking twenty pills she was told were "vitamins," according to the complaint. When she communicated that she no longer wanted to participate in the course, a Dynamic employee who managed the courses "tried to convince her that the Course was good for her, that it would change her mind and detox her."

The complaint says it seeks back pay for Sanchez and another employee who was fired for refusing to participate, as well as compensation for all workers who were subjected to Dynamic Medical's reportedly "hostile work environment."

Scientology, a religion formed in 1954, believes that, "man is far more than a product of his environment, or his genes," according to the church's website. The religion has millions of followers in 165 countries, the site says.

The Church of Scientology did not respond immediately to a request for comment by HuffPost.

Does your employer require you to participate in bizarre activities at work? Email business-tips@huffingtonpost.com

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