A former principal prevails in a wrongful termination suit against a Los Angeles private school.
The plaintiff worked for the school for more than seven years, first as a teacher then as a principal. In 2014, when informing her superiors that she planned to take maternity leave in October, she alleged the pastor asked if she would return in two weeks. This comment, along with remarks about conducting peer reviews, left the principal concerned about her job position.
Upon return to her position, the plaintiff claimed the pastor made further comments regarding pregnancy, asking if she planned to have any more children. The plaintiff accused the school of terminating her two months later because she took three months of maternity leave, and as retaliation for recently reporting wrongdoing by other employees.
The school argues they based her termination on an act by her of plagiarism. They stated that upon reviewing the self-study book she submitted as part of their accreditation process, they found several sections that were identical to those of a neighboring religious school.
The school also defends its decision by alleging the plaintiff had taken a maternity leave comparable in length after the birth her first child in 2009, with no repercussions. In fact, the pastor promoted her to principal two years later.
The court panel found the school administration had legitimate reasons for the termination and ruled in its favor. "Former principal loses wrongful termination suit against Catholic school in La Mirada" www.ocregister.com (Feb. 25, 2020).