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Catholic school teacher claims termination due to fertility treatments

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A Fort Wayne teacher whose contract at St. Vincent de Paul School was not renewed last year claims it was because she is undergoing fertility treatment.

Emily Herx filed her lawsuit in federal court in Fort Wayne April 20 under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Herx taught literature and language arts at the Catholic school for nearly eight years before her employment was terminated. She alleges in her suit it’s because she underwent fertility treatments to try to have a baby.

In 2008, Herx informed the school principal that she’d be undergoing the treatment. She heard no negative feedback about her treatment. When she requested time off in 2011 to undergo a second in-vitro fertilization treatment, she was asked to meet with Monsignor John Kuzmich, the pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. According to the suit, Kuzmich said another teacher complained she was undergoing IVF treatment and if word got out about it, it could be a “scandal.”  Several days later, her contract was not renewed for “improprieties related to church teachings or law.”

She filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in October 2011, which found the school terminated her employment in violation of Title VII and ADA.

In her suit, Herx claims the defendants discriminated against her because she could not become pregnant naturally and male teachers use contraceptives or have had vasectomies and were not terminated. She also alleges the defendants violated the ADA because she has been diagnosed with infertility by a doctor and the school treated her differently because of her disability.

Herx is seeking compensatory damages, compensation for mental anguish and emotional distress, liquidated or punitive damages, and any other relief to which she is entitled.
The suit is Emily Herx v. Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend Inc. and St. Vincent de Paul School, No. 1:12-CV-122.

 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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