Types of employment discrimination are constantly being challenged in state and federal courts in Indiana and across the nation. One particular case is making the news concerning the firing of a volleyball coach and science teacher at a Christian Academy for delivering a child out of wedlock.
Though on its face this may seem wrong, the woman may have some difficulty in successfully challenging the academy’s decision as the academy is a private institution. A recent United State Supreme Court decision has defended Christian schools in their firing practices as such teachers may be defined by the courts as “ministers in the classroom.”
What this really points to is the complicated nature of employment law and what constitutes workplace discrimination. Questions concerning such matters may depend on diverse interpretations of federal and state law, and whether a court determines that illegal workplace discrimination actually took place will depend on the individual facts of the situation. It’s for this reason that it’s always a good idea to consult with an attorney to determine if such discrimination rises to the level where litigation is required.
As standards change and culture evolves, we may see more of these types of lawsuits in the future. Currently categories of unlawful discrimination can include age, race, sex, gender, sexual preference, national origin, religion or disability. Race, religion and national origin are constitutionally protected classes whereas the other categories have been created due to federal and state legislation.
It will be interesting to see what type of employment discrimination cases will exist 20 or 30-years from now.
Source: Yahoo Sports, “Former coach of the year fired from Christian school for out-of-wedlock pregnancy,” by Cameron Smith, April 11, 2012