Wiccan Accuses Employer of Witch Hunt

November 18, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A former Mary Kay Cosmetics customer services representative is suing for harassment and discrimination because of her religious beliefs, according to a Chicago Sun-Times report.

Elizabeth Cornman alleges in her a federal lawsuit filed Friday that she was discriminated against because of her Wiccan beliefs.   She is seeking $300,000 in emotional distress damages in addition to unspecified back pay damages.

Witch Trials

Mary Kay hired Cornman in July 2000 as a customer service representative.    Her job was going well, including good reviews from her supervisor, until her marriage to a Wiccan priest the following year and the subsequent displays of her pagan faith.  

Included in those displays were ankle tattoos and necklaces of Wiccan symbols.   Cornman alleges that after she began displaying her Wiccan symbols she began experiencing adverse reactions to her and her religion at work.  

Supervisors confiscated a sand garden form the desk that Cornman used to draw runes to give her guiding principles for the day.   Additionally, Cornman said she was unfairly disciplined for damaging a copy machine and accused of “victimizing” a college by a supervisor.  

Cornman filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint after receiving a poor performance review in July of 2002.   Prior to this review, Cornman says she always got “rave reviews” from her supervisors.