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Fired California Catholic teacher alleges wrongful termination

A wedding ceremony is the beginning of new chapters in the lives of two people in love. In the case of a California Catholic high school teacher, his wedding ceremony was the beginning of the end of his employment.

The long-time English teacher was fired from his job after he married his male partner shortly after same-sex marriages resumed in the state last summer. He recently filed a wrongful termination lawsuit claiming that his firing violates his employment contract and the California Labor Code.

The fired man taught at St. Lucy’s Priory High School in Glendora since 1998, legal documents state. According to the lawsuit, “(a)t that time, and at all times thereafter, (the teacher’s) sexual orientation was common knowledge among many of the students, faculty members and the administration” at the school north of Newport Beach.

The teacher and his partner regularly attended school events together.

Yet when the couple that had been together a decade wed last July 1, it set in motion his termination just two weeks later.

An administrator admitted to the educator that he was being fired despite the fact that he is an “exceptional” teacher.

According to the lawsuit, the firing prompted an outcry of protest from students and the community. The support for the fired teacher itself allegedly prompted an administrator to tell people that the 15-year faculty member had not been fired, but had rather resigned his job.

When people believe they have been wrongfully fired, one of the first things they should do is to discuss the circumstances of the termination with an experienced employment law attorney who can assess the available legal options for rights protection.

Source: San Gabriel Valley Tribune, "Fired gay Glendora Catholic schoolteacher sues St. Lucy’s Priory," March 13, 2014

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