According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, a former Catholic high school teacher who says he was stripped of his job for marrying his gay partner soon after same-sex marriage was made legal in California has filed a lawsuit against the school.
The news outlet reported that Superior Court Judge Kevin Brazile rejected arguments by attorneys for St. Lucy’s Priory High School that allegations brought on in a lawsuit were barred by the “constitutional separation of church and state.”
Former employee Kenneth Bencomo filed a lawsuit in March, alleging wrongful termination in violation of public policy, violation of the state Labor Code and breach of contract. Bencomo claims that his dismissal violated the protected right of a person to marry and to engage in political activities, including political speech.
Bencomo married his partner last June after they began dating in April 2003. The couple wed after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowed gay weddings to resume in California for the first time since 2008. He was subsequently fired less than two weeks later. He had worked at the school since 1998.
“At that time, and at all times thereafter, Bencomo’s sexual orientation was common knowledge among many of the students, faculty members and the administration of St. Lucy’s,” the lawsuit says. Bencomo reportedly taught studio art, dance, English and yearbook classes.
After news of his wedding was made public through an announcement in a local paper, an administrator with the school subsequently told him he was being fired, though she considered him an “exceptional” teacher, Bencomo’s lawsuit says.
Can I Sue My Employer for Wrongful Termination?
Wrongful termination can be difficult to prove without sufficient evidence; however, this case appears to be a clear form of a wrongdoing by an employer.
Employees who go from a job that they depend on to pay bills and take care of family members can suffer greatly when wrongfully terminated. Your sexual preference is not a sufficient reason for a company to terminate your employment.
If you have been fired from a job and feel your employer was irresponsible in your termination, contact our labor law attorneys today to discuss your case.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys