SAN DIEGO (KGTV/CNN) — In a lawsuit announced earlier this month, a woman claims she was fired from her job at a San Diego college because she engaged in premarital sex and became pregnant.
According to KGTV, Teri James alleges her employer, San Diego Christian College in El Cajon, wrongfully terminated her. James hired high-profile attorney Gloria Allred to represent her in the case.
“The HR director indicated that she was not being fired because she was pregnant. Instead, she was being terminated because she had premarital sex,” said Allred.
Up until four months ago, James was a financial aid specialist at the school — until she said the university learned of her pregnancy.
“I feel like what San Diego Christian College did to me was hurtful and un-Christ like. I was unmarried, pregnant and they took away my livelihood,” said James, who is six months pregnant.
James’ lawsuit against the school alleges “discrimination on account of gender, pregnancy and marital status.”
Additionally, Allred said James’ then-boyfriend — who is now her husband — received completely different treatment from the school.
According to Allred, he was offered a job even though the school knew he was James’ boyfriend and a father-to-be.
School officials declined a 10News interview request, but said there is a community covenant contract all job candidates must sign before they are hired. Students must also sign the contract.
The contract, in part, says “… sexually immoral behavior, including premarital sex, adultery, pornography and homosexuality …” are not allowed.
Allred said the school’s firing of her client “violates state law and the California Constitution, and discriminates against women.”
San Diego Christian College student Cassidy Martin told 10News, “I don’t want to say she deserved it because that’s kind of harsh, but I mean, I know what the rules are so I know also the consequences.”
“Everyone sins in life … I think they should give her a chance to at least prove herself,” said student Ashley Jarosin.
The university makes it very clear to job seekers that they expect them to share biblical teachings and traditional Christian beliefs.