DAYTON, Ohio — An unmarried Catholic school teacher who said she was fired after telling her principal that she was pregnant is suing the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
It's the second lawsuit that's been filed in the last two years against archdiocese over the firing of a pregnant teacher.
Kathleen Quinlan, who taught first grade at Ascension Catholic School in Kettering in suburban Dayton, said she was told to resign or she would be fired, on the same day she told the school's principal in December 2011 that she was expecting. She said she had offered to take a behind-the-scenes job until she gave birth.
Quinlan, of Dayton, who later had twin girls, said in her lawsuit that she was given three days to clear out her classroom.
A termination letter said she was fired for violating a section of her employment contract that requires employees to “comply with and act consistently in accordance with the stated philosophy and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church,” according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court .
Her attorney said that, “as a non-ministerial employee, (she) was not subject to a ‘morality clause.’”
Archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco told The Dayton Daily News he could not comment on the lawsuit.
Quinlan said began teaching at the school in August 2011 and became pregnant that fall.
She said her firing for moral reasons was discriminatory because male employees engaging in premarital sex don't face the same consequences.
Quinlan is seeking back pay along with damages.
In an earlier case, a Catholic school teacher fired after she became pregnant sued the Cincinnati Archdiocese after it said the single woman violated Roman Catholic Church doctrine by using artificial insemination.
That lawsuit, which is still pending, is being viewed as a barometer on the degree to which religious organizations can regulate employees’ lives.
The archdiocese has said Christa Dias was fired because artificial insemination is immoral and violates church doctrine and a contract requiring all employees to “comply with and act consistently in accordance with the stated philosophy and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.”