Remember that woman teacher who was fired from a Catholic school after she became pregnant through IVF? Well, a jury just awarded her some mad cash.
This is significant because it goes against everything the Supreme Court rules in Hosanna-Tabor which stated that religious schools had the right to decide who is ministerial staff and who isn’t. These Einsteins in the jury decided that this teacher wasn’t “ministerial staff.” That’s ridiculous. People send their children to Catholic school because either their school district stinks or they want their children to have a Catholic education. I send my kids because I want them to have a Catholic education. And “Catholic education” doesn’t just mean some teacher makes them memorize feast days in a religion class once a week. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s the principal, the gym teacher, or the school secretary. If they deal with the children they better darn well be examples of Catholicism or my kids are going to be bounced out of there toot-sweet.
My thinking is that people just love awarding other people’s money to other people. Juries for the most part are stupid. A jury let OJ off. They don’t care about rules. They want to side with the little guy against the big old mean power structure. So the jury makes the Archdiocese of Cincinnati award this woman $170,000.
The woman told the press she was “very happy and relieved.” Yeah, she just got $170,000. Who wouldn’t be happy? $70,000 of it was back pay. And then $100,000 was just for punitive damages which means “we give you someone else’s money because you’re sad and they’re rich.”
She also said, “It was never about the money.” Yeah, that’s why she was looking for over $600,000 damages.
The woman is saying that isn’t Catholic and she didn’t know IVF went against Church teaching. Yeah, well either do most Catholics lady.
I hope this will be appealed.
Fox News reports:
Steven Goodin, the attorney for the archdiocese and the schools, had argued Dias was fired for violating her contract, which he said required her to comply with the philosophies and teachings of the Catholic church. The church considers artificial insemination immoral and a violation of church doctrine.
“We have always argued that this case was about a contract violation and should never have been allowed to come to trial,” Goodin said after the verdict.
He said that while he was disappointed in the finding against the archdiocese, he was relieved the schools were not held liable, saying that would have proven a financial hardship for them.
Archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco said after court that for the archdiocese, it was always “a matter of principle” and about “an employee who broke a contract she signed.”
Dias, who is not Catholic, testified she didn’t know artificial insemination violated church doctrine or her employment pact. She said she thought the contract clause about abiding by church teachings meant she should be a Christian and follow the Bible.
The case, viewed as a barometer on the degree to which religious organizations can regulate employees’ lives, is the second lawsuit filed in the last two years against the archdiocese over the firing of an unmarried pregnant teacher.
The archdiocese had argued prior to trial that Dias was a ministerial employee and that the Supreme Court has said religious groups can dismiss those employees without government interference. But Klingler insisted Dias had no such duties, and the court found that she was not a ministerial employee.
Klingler said the case shows jurors are willing to apply the law “even to churches and religious organizations when non-ministerial employees are discriminated against.”