Onionhead and the story of Woo? Employees were forced to participate in New Age religious activities at work, and fired if they refused, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The EEOC filed a lawsuit on behalf of former employees of United Health Programs of America and its parent, Cost Containment Group, a Syosset, New York company, claiming that workers were forced to participate in a New Age religious cult called “Onionhead.”
In the complaint, EEOC lawyer Sunu Chandy said:
“Defendants have required employees to engage in practices pursuant to a belief system called ‘Harnessing Happiness,’ or more commonly, ‘Onionhead.’”
Employees were forced to pray, thank God for their jobs, and say “I love you” to management and co-workers. Workers who refused to participate were fired.
The lawsuit contends that United Health Programs of America and its parent, Cost Containment Group, enforced a belief system called “Harnessing Happiness,” or “Onionhead.” The company allegedly punished workers who balked at having to discuss “divine plans” and “moral codes” as part of the Onionhead practice.
One employee reports she spoke out against Onionhead at a company meeting, suggesting the practices violated her Catholic beliefs. She claims as a result of speaking out she was moved from her office and replaced by a large statue of Buddha.
The suit claims management blamed “demons” for employee’s resistance to participating in the Onionhead belief system. Employees who continued to resist the Onionhead belief system were demoted and then terminated, according to the lawsuit.