Ohio Teacher Wins Discrimination Case Against Archdiocese

Christa Dias, a teacher in two Roman Catholic schools, was fired for breach of contract after giving birth via artificial insemination. A jury found that the church discriminated against her. She testified that she did not know that artificial insemination violated Catholic teaching. Dias, who is not a Roman Catholic, believed that her contractual terms required only that she live in accordance with her Christian beliefs and understanding of the Bible. An appeal by the church is anticipated. It is expected that the church will argue that the 'ministerial exemption' applies to Dias. The trial court ruled that that issue could not be raised at trial as Dias was not a ministerial employee. However, legal experts state that the U. S. Supreme Court has left vague what the qualifications are for a ministerial employee.

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