Unmarried teacher sues over pregnancy sacking

An unmarried American teacher who was sacked from a Catholic school for being pregnant has sued for unfair dismissal.

Michelle McCusker told the headteacher she was pregnant and was promptly fired, according to reports.

“I don’t understand how a religion that prides itself on forgiving and on valuing life could terminate me because I’m pregnant and choosing to have this baby,” the 26-year-old said.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, described it as a “difficult situation” but said the school had no choice but to follow guidelines set out in the teachers’ personnel handbook.

The handbook says each teacher must “convey the teachings of the Catholic faith by his or her words and actions.”

The New York Civil Liberties Union has filed a discrimination complaint on Ms McCusker’s behalf.

“The school used her pregnancy as a marker,” lawyer Cassandra Stubbs said. “How do they determine if male employees engage in premarital sex?”

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