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Secretly recorded audio of Dave Ramsey reveals question of double standards in company

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FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) - Secretly-recorded audio of financial guru Dave Ramsey reveals not only harsh criticism for staffers who have premarital sex or engage in infidelity, but also raises questions of double standards for women in the company.

The audio, secretly recorded by staffers and obtained by News4 Investigates, shows Ramsey’s frustration and anger when it comes to employees who do not live by biblical standards.

Much of the audio was first reported by the Religion News Service.

“I’m going to check your butt out of here,” Ramsey said, referring to an employee who is not living biblically. “If you don’t like that, this is your cue. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass.”

Ramsey, aside from being known for tough talk about finance, also routinely preaches about his Christian faith.

In one part of his speech to staff, he recalls his frustration in praying to God about the criticism he’s faced.

“I’m so tired of being falsely accused of being a jerk when all I’m trying to do is help people stay in line,” Ramsey said in the recording.

Ramsey openly dictates that employees must follow biblical principles, especially that they are not allowed to have pre-marital sex.

In one speech, he mocks an employee who might have problems following the company’s stance.

“I didn’t agree with the righteous living core value. Well, why did you come, stupid?” Ramsey said in the recording.

In the recordings, Ramsey makes it clear if an employee does have pre-marital sex, it’s grounds for termination.

“I will write the checks to the attorney to protect what we built here,” Ramsey said.

News4 Investigates has also obtained never-before-heard audio that critics said shows the termination rule for sex outside of marriage applies to some, but not all.

Attorney Heather Collins is representing Caitlin O’Connor, who is suing Ramsey after she said she was fired when she disclosed that she was pregnant but not married.

“It wasn’t just about here. She had seen it happen to other women in the company,” Collins said.

Ramsey’s company doesn’t deny the pre-marital sex policy, responding in federal court that they’ve fired five men and four women for the violation.

“This is a company that makes it very clear: you cannot have premarital sex or we can terminate you?” asked News4 Investigates.

“Federal law should protect her from being terminated from her job because she discloses pregnancy, regardless of how that pregnancy came about,” Collins said.

But Collins said when Chris Hogan, a popular financial personality in Ramsey’s company who was accused by his wife for affairs in 2018, he wasn’t fired.

Instead, audio of another staff meeting shows Ramsey praised him after infidelity allegations surfaced.

“(Hogan) is a good man,” Ramsey said in audio from February 2019.

After the allegation surfaced, Hogan’s ex-wife Melissa wrote on her blog that she disclosed everything to Ramsey and his company.

But after he made the disclosures, Hogan was still sent out on a book tour.

According to the recording, Ramsey told staff that at the end of the book tour, they would not be seeing Hogan for a while.

Ramsey said Hogan was being taken off the tour, not for any negative reasons, but because he needed to rest.

“Nothing earth shattering or evil, nothing like that. But you’re gonna kill a thoroughbred,” Ramsey said. “He is a good man, but you aren’t going to see him for the month of February.”

Ramsey goes on to say that after Hogan rests, he will be fully back to work.

“After February, you’re going to see him a lot because he ain’t going nowhere,” Ramsey said.

And Hogan did go back to work for years, continuing to host his radio show and make appearances, even while his wife sued him for divorce, writing about the “painful issues in their marriage.”

Yet in her lawsuit, O’Connor wrote that she was terminated for violation of company conduct not long after she disclosed her pregnancy.

In March 2021, O’Connor filed paperwork requesting Hogan’s personnel file.

Not long after that court filing, Hogan made the announcement that he was stepping away from the company.

“I need to let you all know about some things going on in my personal life. Recently, it’s come to light that I’ve done some things personally that are not in line with Ramsey Solutions and as a result, I am no longer a team member at Ramsey,” Hogan said in a YouTube video.

“Do you feel this company treats men differently that it does women?” asked News4 Investigates.

“I think those second chances are afforded to the men of the company, most likely not the women,” Collins said.

For an entire month, News4 Investigates has emailed Ramsey’s corporation through their public relations department, citing the findings and requesting an interview. News4 Investigates also reached out to the attorney who represents Ramsey’s corporation in the federal lawsuit.

No one has yet to respond.

News4 Investigates also has left messages for Hogan on his cell phone and has yet to hear from him.

 

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Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the chief investigator for News4 Investigates. His reporting has resulted in criminal convictions, legislative hearings before the U.S. Congress, and the payout of more than a million dollars to scam victims.

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