Can You Spot The Issues? You Have 15 Minutes!

I thought way back about a law school exam when I read a short squib in the September 25th New York Law Journal by Mark Hamblett entitled “Synagogue Sued Over Firing of Pregnant Employee,” which describes in a few, short sentences a new employment discrimination lawsuit filed in federal court in New York.

Reading, Studying, Lawyer, Pastor, Black

I want to present the few facts about the suit set forth in the article and ask everyone to become a law student (perhaps again?) and spot the issues presented.

The article sets out the following facts based solely upon the filed complaint:

1.  Ms. A was a program director at a synagogue.

2.  She was 19 weeks pregnant when she was married in an Orthodox ceremony (presume that it’s the same synagogue).

3.  She was fired three weeks later, the day after her honeymoon ended, by a Board member and the Rabbi, who refused to speak to her.   (Ed.: How did they fire her?).

4.  They told her that her job was being terminated.

5.  She hired a lawyer and the synagogue attempted to “un-fire her.”

Based on these few facts, state how many issues can you identify and tell us how would you answer them?  What discrimination law principles do you see?  Any defenses which can be raised?

Ok, open your test booklets, pick up your pencils and BEGIN!

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Richard Cohen

Richard B. Cohen is a partner in the New York City office of FisherBroyles, LLP, a national law firm. Richard Cohen has litigated and arbitrated complex corporate, commercial and employment disputes for more than 35 years, and is a trusted advisor to business owners and in-house counsel both in the United States and internationally. His clients have included Fortune 100 companies, domestic and foreign commercial and investment banks, Pacific-rim corporations and real estate development companies, as well as start-up businesses throughout the United States. Email Richard at [email protected]