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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Lawsuit challenges Catholic school firing

Uptown Butte   (Photo by WikiCapa)
Can a Catholic school, or any religious organization for that matter, fire an otherwise-good employee for exercising his or her civil rights?

That is a key question within the lawsuit that an ex-employee filed against Butte Central Catholic Schools in Montana.  The Associated Press reports that this [at the time] unmarried and pregnant teacher, Shaela Evenson, was fired for “violating the terms of her contract, which required her to practice the tenets of the Catholic faith.”

Evenson's lawsuit points out that she “is not Catholic, and the school district and the diocese were aware of that…”  Evenson also alleges that “her firing violated federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination based on pregnancy.”

Case law might be on Evenson’s side of this matter.  Her lawyer, Brian Butler of Cincinnati, has already “won a $170,000 jury award in a similar case in Ohio.”  This previous case indicated that “an employer… cannot require an employee to give up certain civil rights as a condition of employment.”


Copyright August 24, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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