Unwed, pregnant teacher can sue Catholic school over bias

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SUNBURY, Pa. (AP) — A teacher who alleges that she was fired from her job at a Roman Catholic school because the diocese was upset she was pregnant and unmarried has lost another bid for reinstatement, but she will be allowed to proceed with her discrimination lawsuit.

A judge in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, made the decisions in a ruling made public Tuesday.

Naiad Reich filed a breach of contract suit last year against the Diocese of Harrisburg. She has been seeking a permanent injunction that would reinstate her as a teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School in Coal Township, outside Shamokin, but Jones ruled that the one-year contract she signed in June 2018 provided no guarantee of future employment.

Reich, who isn't Catholic, said she was fired in November 2018 after notifying the diocese that she and her boyfriend were expecting a baby in June but had no immediate plans to marry. She has since given birth to a girl and has not married.

The diocese said it continues to believe that Bishop Ronald Gainer and Sister Mary Ann Bednar, the school's principal, “carefully considered diocesan policy and pastoral care" in making their decisions in this case.

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