Skip to main content
Tags: catholic | law | new jersey | supreme court | ruling | religious | pregnant

N.J. Ruling: Catholic School Can Fire Pregnant Unwed Mom

By    |   Monday, 14 August 2023 07:17 PM EDT

The New Jersey Supreme Court made a notable ruling to uphold a religious school's right to screen their employees on following their faith and teachings.

At issue was a pregnant, unmarried woman having been fired as an art teacher and caregiver for toddlers at St. Theresa School, a Catholic elementary school in Newark, New Jersey. State Justice Lee Solomon ruled the school retains the right under state law to require its staff to abide by Roman Catholic tenets.

"The religious tenets exception allowed St. Theresa's to require its employees, as a condition of employment, to abide by Catholic law, including that they abstain from premarital sex," Solomon wrote in his ruling that premarital abstinence was a "condition of her employment."

Solomon, a former Gov. Chris Christie appointee, wrote the unanimous state Supreme Court decision siding with the St. Theresa School.

New Jersey law permits religious institutions to hold faith-based employment criteria and Solomon wrote the school's claim was "an affirmative defense available to a religious entity when confronted with a claim of employment discrimination."

Victoria Crisitello was fired in 2014 and the school argued her employment contract required her to adhere to the school's requirement of not engaging in premarital sex, the Washington Examiner reported.

Crisitello alleged discrimination on her pregnancy and marital status through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The school argued she was not fired for being pregnant but provably having engaged in premarital sex, according to the report.

The ruling also noted the First Amendment at issue in the case, saying the court could not weigh in on the school's "faith, doctrine, and internal governance."

Agudath Israel of America, a national Orthodox Jewish organization representing the interest of Jewish schools, filed a brief in support of St. Theresa's, citing a similar argument.

"Teachers make the school," attorney Eric Rassbach argued for Agudath Israel, a Jewish school weighing in on the case, and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

"The whole point of a religious school is to help parents educate their children in their faith. And to do that, schools must have teachers who believe in and follow their faith."

Eric Mack

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
The New Jersey Supreme Court made a notable ruling to uphold a religious school's right to screen their employees on following their faith and teachings.
catholic, law, new jersey, supreme court, ruling, religious, pregnant, unwed, woman
354
2023-17-14
Monday, 14 August 2023 07:17 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
TOP

Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved