Religious beliefs can put gay workers at risk

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2019 | Workplace Discrimination |

Since the #MeToo movement gained steam, many workers have stepped up to accuse their employers of workplace discrimination. Several managers that got away with harassing employees for their genders, races, sexual orientations and disabilities for years were starting to see justice for their illegal actions.

However, the process of filing a claim against an employer for discrimination isn’t completely straightforward in some industries. Schools affiliated with specific religions are still having issues when it comes to hiring people that go against their particular beliefs. A recent case in Indiana highlights the ongoing struggles that these employers have with the LGBT community.

A counselor’s struggles

In August 2018, a Catholic high school in Indianapolis came under fire after their decision to put their female guidance counselor of 15 years on administrative leave for marrying another woman. The school claimed that this was legal because the woman signed a contract agreeing to “live in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

They told her that she would have to resign, divorce her wife, or serve for the rest of the year without getting her contract renewed. The incident received significant media attention after the counselor told her story on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Since then, she’s decided to proceed with filing a discrimination charge with the EEOC against the school and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis for believing they had the right to intentionally discriminate. Another guidance counselor at the school also filed the same charges against her employer.

The controversial decision hasn’t just affected her. In 2019, the school no longer allowed her father to serve as a volunteer for them after he protested at an event for the school’s mistreatment of his daughter. The counselor filed a second discrimination charge in response.

A controversial, but familiar scenario

Despite how much attention this lawsuit is receiving, this is far from the first-time workers had issues with their employers over their religious beliefs and sexuality. If a worker in Indiana believes their manager is harassing them over personal bias, they should contact an employment law attorney to see how they can receive compensation for their mistreatment.


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