Catholic woman fired after refusing to take Scientology courses at 'alkalized water' company: lawsuit
Church of Scientology building (Janet Lackey/Flickr)

Grecia Echevarria-Hernandez grew up Roman Catholic and was excited when she was hired by Las Vegas's Real Alkalized Water. But then, according to a lawsuit, she was forced to take a class on Scientology with her co-workers. She refused and not long after was fired.


According to the Courthouse News Service, Echevarria was forced to watch several videos about Scientology and was told she would receive a 25 cents-per-hour raise for each "betterment" course she took through the "church."

Betterment courses can range from humanitarian aid, drug programs, volunteer missionary programs and on-site rehabilitation programs for prison inmates.

Echevarria informed a manager at the company that she identifies as Catholic, "not a Scientologist" and that she "believes in God, was baptized Catholic and attends a Christian Church," according to the lawsuit. She refused to participate in the so-called self-betterment courses.

Despite doing her actual job "admirably" her supervisors "did not see the videos as optional" and wouldn't stop talking about them over the course of the five months she was there," the lawsuit claims. Not participating made her ineligible for any raises, her coworkers treated her negatively and her "workplace environment became extremely unpleasant." She said that her co-workers "clearly did not approve of her choice not to participate."

It wasn't long before she was fired for "poor job performance" by the same manager she told she was a Catholic. She's now suing for "punitive damages for discrimination, retaliation and tortious discharge." Her attorney also clarified that he wasn't sure if the "water business" was a front-company for Scientology.