an update for the week of november 28, 2005
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
Get Pregnant. Lose Your Job. Welcome to Catholic School Reality.: You might think that employers these days are way too subtle to fire a female employee for getting pregnant, and admitting to that as the reason. But you'd be wrong, especially as it relates to Catholic schools. The latest in what has been a string of cases involving female teachers at Catholic institutions is unlikely to be the last, as courts grapple with whether it is permissible for religiously-affiliated institutions to fire teachers who do not uphold the Catholic principle of abstaining from premarital sex. The reality that most institutions focus solely on pregnant women (who alone are capable of publicly manifesting their non-compliance) may ultimately doom those institutions that take such punitive steps, as it is clearly sex discrimination to punish only women who engage in premarital sex.
this week in the courts
Miles v. Dell  (Fourth Circuit; No. 04-2500)
Decision Date: November 22, 2005
When a Title VII plaintiff can show that firing and hiring decisions were made by different decisionmakers, she need not show as part of her prima facie case that she was replaced by someone outside her protected class; thus, summary judgment for defendant-employer is vacated as to claims of sex and pregnancy discrimination.
Dunn v. Washington County Hosp.  (Seventh Circuit; No. 05-1277)
Decision Date: November 17, 2005
Summary judgment for defendant on plaintiff's Title VII sex discrimination case is reversed, where defendant is responsible for providing its employees with nondiscriminatory working conditions, including protection from discriminatory acts by an independent contractor.
Rodriguez v. Conagra  (Fifth Circuit; No. 04-11473)
Decision Date: November 16, 2005
In a disability discrimination case brought by a diabetic plaintiff under Texas disability laws, summary judgment for defendant is reversed and partial summary judgment granted for plaintiff where the record showed defendant discriminated against plaintiff as a matter of law.
Jones v. D.C. Dep't of Corr.  (D.C. Circuit; No. 04-7181)
Decision Date: November 15, 2005
Summary judgment for defendant on employment sexual harassment claims based on the Faragher-Ellerth defense is reversed where the defense had not been raised by defendant in the pleadings.
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