Andrea Dearden Apr. 10, 2013, 6:43am

An East Alton rent-to-own store is accused of firing one of its employees because of his religion.

Ralph Calame Jr. filed a lawsuit April 1 in Madison County Circuit Court against Aaron's Inc.

Calame worked for Aaron's and was treated well until his regional manager found out he was a pastor in a church, the petition alleges. After learning about his work with the church, Calame claims the regional manager harassed him at work and eventually fired him in March 2012.

Calame contends Aaron's fired him because of his religious beliefs, thus violating the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. He asks for more than $50,000 in damages for lost wages, benefits and costs of the lawsuit.

Attorney Thomas O. Falb of Alton represents Calame.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 13-L-521

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