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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. Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in December, but U.S. District Judge Robert Miller later reduced that to about $540,000 to put the damages for suffering under the statutory cap of $300,000.

  2. I was trying to remember, how did marriage get gay in Kentucky, did the people vote for it? Ah no, of course not. It was imposed by judicial fiat. The voted-for official actually represents the will of the majority in the face of an unelected federal judiciary. But democracy only is just a slogan for the powerful, they trot it out when they want and call it bigotry etc when they don't.

  3. Ah yes... Echoes of 1963 as a ghostly George Wallace makes his stand at the Schoolhouse door. We now know about the stand of personal belief over service to all constituents at the Carter County Clerk door. The results are the same, bigotry unable to follow the directions of the courts and the courts win. Interesting to watch the personal belief take a back seat rather than resign from a perception of local power to make the statement.

  4. An oath of office, does it override the conscience? That is the defense of overall soldier who violates higher laws, isnt it? "I was just following orders" and "I swore an oath of loyalty to der Fuhrer" etc. So this is an interesting case of swearing a false oath and then knowing that it was wrong and doing the right thing. Maybe they should chop her head off too like the "king's good servant-- but God's first" like St Thomas More. ...... We wont hold our breath waiting for the aclu or other "civil liberterians" to come to her defense since they are all arrayed on the gay side, to a man or should I say to a man and womyn?

  5. Perhaps we should also convene a panel of independent anthropological experts to study the issues surrounding this little-known branch of human sacrifice?

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