Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Jury Awards Catholic School Teacher Fired For In Vitro Fertilization Damages of $1.95M

The Fort Wayne (IN) Journal Gazette reports that a federal jury last Friday awarded former Catholic school teacher Emily Herx $1.95 million in damages in her Title VII sex discrimination claim against the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. Herx's teaching contract was not renewed after she became pregnant through in vitro fertilization. The Catholic Church considers in vitro fertilization immoral, and the Diocese argued that Herx had agreed to uphold Catholic teachings. Herx argued that the Diocese would not have refused to renew a male teacher's contract under the same conditions. While finding substantial actual damages, the jury awarded Herx only a nominal $1 in punitive damages.  It is likely that the Diocese will appeal the decision. (See prior posting.) [Thanks to Wall of Separation for the lead.]