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Crisitello v. St. Theresa Sch.

New Jersey Appellate Division

November 19, 2020

In Crisitello v. St. Theresa Sch., the New Jersey Appellate Division reviewed an order from the Law Division granting the defendant’s motion for summary judgment in a Law Against Discrimination action. The defendant — a parochial school — fired the plaintiff because she was unmarried and became pregnant. The Appellate Division had to “determine whether a parochial school’s knowledge of the pregnancy of an unmarried lay teacher . . . can serve as the nondiscriminatory basis for the teacher’s termination for violating the school’s morals code, where the school never made any effort to determine whether any of its other employees have violated the school’s prohibition against ‘immoral conduct’ that is allegedly incorporated into each employees’ terms of employment.” The Court held that the mere observation of the employee’s pregnancy is not a legitimate basis for termination under the LAD.

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