EUGENE, Ore. (CN) - Former members of Bain Capital fired six out of seven managers of a senior housing company because they are not Mormon, the fired managers claim in Federal Court.
David McCurdy and his co-plaintiffs sued Sorenson Capital Partners, Care Holding Co., Care Senior Living, and SCP Care Acquisition.
The plaintiffs claim that Care Senior Living, which manages assisted-living and other care facilities, hired them in March 2011, and that all six of them "had a proven track record of success in the senior housing industry."
They say the private equity firm Sorenson Capital Partners, which controlled Care's daily operations, fired them because they are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"The principals of SCP, including a number of its managing directors and officers, are former partners or executives at Bain Capital and Bain & Company," the complaint states.
Republican presidential candidate-in-waiting Mitt Romney founded Bain Capital in 1984 after working for Bain & Co.
"During their tenure with defendants, plaintiffs learned that SCP strongly favored hiring, employing, and doing business with other members of the LDS Church," the complaint states.
"SCP partners, in particular Curtis Toone and Mike Scott, made comments about religion and questioned the beliefs of plaintiffs and other employees. None of the Plaintiffs are members of the LDS church."
Neither Toone nor Scott is named individually as a defendant.
The plaintiffs claim that Care promised them 5 years of employment, with raises.
"Despite the promise of 5 years employment, in mid-November 2011, after only 7 months, plaintiffs were told that their employment would be terminated effective February 2012," the complaint states.
"No explanation has ever been given for defendants' decision to terminate plaintiffs' employment only 7 months [into] their 5-year contract except that defendants' claimed they would no longer make investments in the senior housing industry."
In addition to religious discrimination, the plaintiffs, who are all between 52 and 62 years old, say their age was a factor in their firings.
"In the fall of 2011, defendants inquired about the ages of all the plaintiffs. Shortly thereafter defendants advised plaintiffs that their employment was being terminated," the complaint states.
The plaintiffs seek $5.35 million in damages for breach of contract, discrimination, promissory estoppel and retaliation. They are David McCurdy, Lia McCurdy, Paul Monaco, Judy Peoples, William Dassenko and Rochlyn Yess.
They are represented by Ann Foster, with Dunn Carney Allen Higgins & Tongue, of Portland.