Pregnant Woman Sues Christian School for Wrongful Termination

Teri James claims San Diego Christian College fired her for engaging in premarital sex

By Sarah Grieco
|  Tuesday, Mar 5, 2013  |  Updated 4:18 PM PDT
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Christian School Staffer Fired for Premarital Sex

Courtesy of Gloria Allred

Teri James, left, said she was humiliated when she was fired from San Diego Christian College.

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Christian School Staffer Fired for Premarital Sex

Teri James who used to work at San Diego Christian College claims she was fired for having premarital sex.
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A San Diego woman is suing a local school for firing her after it was revealed she was pregnant out of wedlock.

Teri James, 29, said that she was let go from her job as a financial specialist at San Diego Christian College last fall because her pregnancy revealed she had premarital sex. James and her now-husband Brandon James are expecting a boy in June. 

"I was an unmarried pregnant woman, and they took away my livelihood," James said in a statement. "They stripped me of my dignity and humiliated me. I not only lost my source of income and my health insurance to care for myself and my baby through my pregnancy, but I also lost my career and my community."

Read Teri’s full statement here

She also claims the college offered a job to Brandon shortly after terminating her, even though it allegedly knew he had engaged in premarital sex.

San Diego Christian College is a private institution, and school officials declined to comment about the situation.

James hired civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred to handle the case. They are suing for wrongful termination in addition to gender discrimination and are seeking damages from the school.

But when James began working at the college, she had a to sign a 2-page "community covenant," which tells employees and students to abstain from: "Abusive anger; malice; jealousy; lust; sexually immoral behavior including premarital sex, adultery, pornography, and homosexuality; evil desires; prejudice based on race, sex, or socioeconomic status; greed; idolatry; slander; profanity; lying; drunkenness; thievery; and dishonesty."

The covenant ends saying, "Appropriate action will be taken if the covenant is disregarded…. ultimately withdrawal from the community may result if these commitments are not honored."

Read the full “community covenant” here

Allred said that California has certain laws that protect female employees from being fired for pregnancy.

"We contend that it is not permitted to terminate an employee because the college thinks that premarital sex leading to pregnancy is wrong," Allred said in a statement.

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