Tuesday, December 02, 2014

7th Circuit Rejects Appeal of Non-Final Order By Catholic Diocese Sued Over Firing of Teacher

In Herx v. Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Inc., (7th Cir., Dec. 1, 2014), the 7th Circuit rejected on procedural grounds defendant's appeal from denial of its summary judgment motion seeking dismissal of the employment discrimination suit against it. The district court ruled that a Catholic school teacher who was fired because she underwent in vitro feritilization-- a procedure inconsistent with Catholic teachings-- can move ahead with her claim of sex discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  The district court rejected various defenses raised by the diocese. (See prior posting.) The 7th Circuit held that the trial court's refusal to dismiss the case is not a final order and thus is not appealable.  The court held that the narrow exception for review of certain collateral orders does not apply to this case. The Diocese will be able to pursue its objections after a final order is issued in the case. The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette reports on the 7th Circuit's decision.