LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A woman is suing her former employer after she was fired for having sex and becoming pregnant outside of marriage.
Teri James was working for San Diego Christian College when they learned of her pregnancy and fired her. She had worked at the college for two years as a financial aid specialist. It wasn’t part of her duties to interact with students, except via telephone.
“We are here today to announce an unusual and important lawsuit on behalf of Teri James. We are alleging discrimination against Teri, on account of gender, pregnancy and marital status,” attorney Gloria Allred said at a news conference Thursday.
The 29-year-old received a termination notice stating she “engaged in activity outside the scope of the handbook and community covenant.”
The college contends that employees and some students have to sign a clause stating they won’t have pre-marital sex and will abstain from behavior inconsistent with Christian values. James allegedly signed that clause when she was hired.
Allred argues that James’ termination not only constitutes gender discrimination but also violates California law and the state Constitution, specifically the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
The attorney claims the incident is gender discrimination because a woman shows signs of pregnancy while a man has no physical way of showing he engaged in pre-marital sex. Allred said she hopes the case prevents gender discrimination in workplaces across the state.