Religious Freedom or Discriminatory Discharge?

Here is an interesting case out of Alabama that pits The 14th Amendment against the 1st. In Lewis vs. Covenant Classical School of Trace Crossings, Ms. Lewis claims that the Christian school illegally fired her after administrators learned she was unmarried and pregnant. Lewis' suit says she was hired at the school on Dec. 6, 2003, where she was to help teach 12- to 20-month- olds. She was fired four days later after officials learned she was pregnant. The school argues that Lewis was fired not because she was pregnant but because she was pregnant and unwed, which goes against the school's Christian teachings. It stated in court papers that her termination was required because Lewis would not assure the school she would stop her conduct of engaging in sex outside marriage. "Biblically speaking, fornication is immoral," the filing said. (Presumably, the school also does not employ those who lie, covet their neighbor's wife, fail to honor their father and mother or those who have been divorced and remarried.)Her attorney, David Arendall, states that whether she was married or not, the school fired Lewis because she was pregnant, a violation of the federal Title VII, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, race and religion.

The case is currently set for trial in mid-October and we will keep a lookout for the verdict. (Actually, I am a little surprised that this case is going to trial as it appears that the facts are all agreed to by the parties and the only issue remaining is the legal issue of whether the school's relivious protections under the Constitution trump Title VII. Perhaps I am missing something from the brief news article.)In any event, here is the Associated Press story.Sexual Harassment, Pregnancy Discrimination, Age Discrimination, San Antonio, Employment Lawyer