Court rules Catholic school wrongfully fired gay substitute

National News

A gay substitute teacher was wrongfully fired by a Roman Catholic school in North Carolina after he announced in 2014 on social media that he was going to marry his longtime partner, a federal judge has ruled.


 


U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn ruled Friday that Charlotte Catholic High School and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Charlotte violated Lonnie Billard’s federal protections against sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Cogburn granted summary judgment to Billard and said a trial must still be held to determine appropriate relief for him.


 


“After all this time, I have a sense of relief and a sense of vindication. I wish I could have remained to teach all this time,” Billard said in a statement released Friday by the ACLU, which represented him in court. “Today’s decision validates that I did nothing wrong by being a gay man.”


 


Billard taught English and drama full-time at the school for more than a decade, earning its Teacher of the Year award in 2012. He then transitioned to a role as a regular substitute teacher, typically working more than a dozen weeks per year, according to his 2017 lawsuit.


 


He posted about his upcoming wedding in October 2014 and was informed by an assistant principal several weeks later that he no longer had a job with the school, according to the ruling.


 


The defendants said that they fired Billard not because he was gay, but rather because “he engaged in ‘advocacy’ that went against the Catholic Church’s beliefs” when he publicly announced he was marrying another man, the ruling said.


 


 


But Cogburn ruled that the school’s action didn’t fit into exemptions to labor law that give religious institutions leeway to require certain employees to adhere to religious teachings, nor was the school’s action protected by constitutional rights to religious freedom.

Related listings

  • Charlotte Sexual Harassment Lawyer

    Charlotte Sexual Harassment Lawyer

    National News 08/23/2021

    Law Promo’s spotlight today is on Chris Strianese, Charlotte Sexual Harassment Lawyer. Chris Strianese is a Charlotte-based attorney specializing in sexual harassment. On his Charlotte sexual harassment attorney website, Chris explains sexual h...

  • US moves to cut backlog of asylum cases at US-Mexico border

    US moves to cut backlog of asylum cases at US-Mexico border

    National News 08/18/2021

    The Biden administration on Wednesday proposed changing how asylum claims are handled, aiming to reduce a huge backlog of cases from the U.S.-Mexico border that has left people waiting years to find out whether they will be allowed to stay in America...

  • Federal judge leaves CDC evictions moratorium in place

    Federal judge leaves CDC evictions moratorium in place

    National News 08/13/2021

    A federal judge is refusing landlords’ request to put the Biden administration’s new eviction moratorium on hold, though she made clear she thinks it’s illegal. U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich on Friday said her “hands ar...

Does a car or truck accident count as a work injury?

If an employee is injured in a car crash while on the job, they are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. “On the job” injuries are not limited to accidents and injuries that happen inside the workplace, they may also include injuries suffered away from an employee’s place of work while performing a job-related task, such as making a delivery or traveling to a client meeting.

Regular commutes to and from work don’t usually count. If you get into an accident on your way in on a regular workday, it’s probably not considered a work injury for the purposes of workers’ compensation.

If you drive around as part of your job, an injury on the road or loading/unloading accident is likely a work injury. If you don’t typically drive around for work but are required to drive for the benefit of your employer, that would be a work injury in many cases. If you are out of town for work, pretty much any driving would count as work related. For traveling employees, any accidents or injuries that happen on a work trip, even while not technically working, can be considered a work injury. The reason is because you wouldn’t be in that town in the first place, had you not been on a work trip.

Workers’ compensation claims for truck drivers, traveling employees and work-related injuries that occur away from the job site can be challenging and complex. At Krol, Bongiorno & Given, we understand that many families depend on the income of an injured worker, and we are proud of our record protecting the injured and disabled. We have handled well over 30,000 claims for injured workers throughout the state of Illinois.