Wednesday, January 19, 2022

More Former Ramsey Solutions Employees Are Speaking Out

More former employees are speaking up about their experiences at Ramsey Solutions, a for-profit company that produces educational content about financial and business management, reports The Tennessean.

Three former employees filed separate federal lawsuits against the company in 2020 and 2021, and newly obtained data shows dozens of employees leaving the Franklin-based company with the namesake of its founder, personal finance guru Dave Ramsey.

In one of the lawsuits, an unmarried woman accused the company of firing her after she became pregnant. In another, an employee says she was fired after coming out as a lesbian. The company in court documents has denied wrongdoing.  

The incidents and the increasing number of people speaking out point to problematic patterns of behavior at the company, one that resembles other institutions that have faced criticism due to the actions of charismatic leaders.

Months after Greg Thoman resigned from Ramsey Solutions someone hand delivered a letter to his house from the company’s lawyer cautioning Thoman against “engaging in any activity that is slanderous, libelous or defamatory toward Ramsey Solutions,” according to a copy of the May 20, 2020 letter. 

About the same time, Ramsey led a meeting attended by select employees to warn them about former employees who he said were launching a “coup” against the company and its reputation, according to multiple people who were at the meeting. Ramsey specifically named Thoman. 

One of the former employees said the meeting dissuaded Ramsey Solutions workers from speaking to former staff. 

Some former colleagues limited communication with Thoman after the meeting, Thoman told The Tennessean. Losing people Thoman once considered friends took a toll on his mental health, he said. The couple said that afterward, they sought counseling to deal with trauma they believed stemmed from experiences with the company.

Several former employees and spouses of former employees have compared the incidents at Ramsey Solutions with stories of abuse in workplaces and in religious spaces that have emerged in recent years. Religion is key to the company's identity, a product of its founders' evangelical Christian faith.

The company rejects comparisons to those other stories. “The entire premise that Ramsey Solutions is a toxic and abusive work environment is absolutely not supported by facts," the company said in an email. "On the contrary, our team members regularly say Ramsey is the best place they have ever worked."

Among other accolades, Ramsey Solutions was on Inc. Magazine’s “Best Workplaces” list at recently as 2020. Many of the employees are Christian, and are aligned with “biblically based” ideas found in the workplace policies and in much of the content the for-profit company produces. 

A sought-after voice in Christian and non-Christian spaces alike, Dave Ramsey is widely known for his nationally syndicated radio show and books such as “The Total Money Makeover” and “EntreLeadership.” 

The Tennessean graphic 1/19/22

The company said in a statement it currently employs more than 1,050 people. In 2015, when Ramsey Solutions employed about 500 people, it received millions of dollars in tax incentives from Williamson County and the city of Franklin for building its new headquarters on the condition it hire 398 new employees by 2020, a figure it has exceeded. 

In recent years, the company hired more employees annually than it lost, according to news releases and newly obtained information about company departures. But that information also shows the number of employees leaving the company has increased during the same time public criticism of the company intensified.  

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