Jury Finds Ohio Archdiocese Discriminated in Firing of Artificially Inseminated Woman
A jury found an Ohio archdiocese discriminated against a teacher fired after becoming pregnant via artificial insemination, leaving legal experts expecting an appeal they say could have a much wider legal impact.
Christa Dias, who was fired from two schools in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati in October 2010, was awarded more than $170,000 Monday after winning her federal anti-discrimination lawsuit against the archdiocese.
Dias’ attorney, Robert Klingler, argued she was fired simply because she was pregnant and unmarried, a dismissal he said violated state and federal law.
Steven Goodin, the attorney for the archdiocese and the schools, contended Dias was fired for violating her contract, which he said required her to comply with the philosophies and teachings of the Catholic church. The church considers artificial insemination immoral and a violation of church doctrine.
The case, viewed as a barometer on the degree to which religious organizations can regulate employees’ lives, is the second lawsuit filed in the last two years against the archdiocese over the firing of an unmarried pregnant teacher.