Please read the Case and answer the 2 questions listed. Please answer the questions separately and list the answer under the label Question#1 and Question #2. These are essay questions and each answer should be detailed and one page long.
A private high school hires a new superintendent, George Forester. The school is owned by a local Lutheran church and is run by a board of directors chosen by church members. Supt. Forester shows up for his first day of work and sends a memo via intercompany mail to all teachers:
There is a new sheriff in town ??" and it is me. As your new leader, I am implementing a dress code that includes no slacks or shorts for women and no earrings for male teachers. Men shall all be clean shaven. Violators will be docked 1 week’s pay; second offenses will result in a 1 week suspension without pay and third offenses, dismissal. All teachers will address me as “Pastor Forester” or “Amen, Pastor Forester.” Teachers who fail to abide by these dictates will be docked two points on their annual evaluations. Amen, Pastor Forester.”
That day, one teacher, Anna Seenandfeld has a birthday party at the school, having just turned 40. Her frown at the party shows everyone she is not happy about her party. Pastor Forestor had bought black balloons for her and jokes with the other teachers about the "over the hill" teacher. The next day, Pastor Forester goes into the teacher’s lounge and calls all nontenured teachers into his office. He tells them that he has assigned himself to be their mentoring teacher and that effectively immediately they will be evaluated weekly. One teacher, Anna Seenandfeld, begins to cry. Another teacher, Andy DuFrane, rolls his eyes and says, "God! These menopausal women should not be allowed around our students." Pastor Forester goes to Anna and hugs her, offering her a tissue. He pats her gently on the behind and whispers, "Act your age, please." When she forcefully pulls away from him, Pastor Forester assigns her to work Saturday detention for the next 3 weeks to “toughen her up.”
A pregnant P.E. teacher, Lisa Ready, is reassigned by Pastor Forester to a math position (even though she has only three credits in math) because Pastor Forester says this position is “less strenuous for a pregnant lady.”
On the third week of detention duty, a student stabs Anna, wounding her severely. Although she survives and recovers, she loses one kidney as a result of the injury. The school doesn't offer health insurance, and Anna incurs over $55,000 for her hospital bills; the student (and his family) is insolvent.
One month later, a parent complains about his student being unable to succeed in his math course due to the teacher’s (Lisa’s) incompetence, Pastor Forester fires Lisa Ready for her inability to perform her job. Pastor Forester tells Lisa in front of her class of students, and then walks her out of the building; 2 hours later, Lisa goes into premature labor and delivers her first son, who has severe health issues as a result of being premature. The baby’s doctor states the cause of early labor as being from “intense duress and undue stress.” Lisa's husband's health insurance covers all of the costs of the birth and the baby's care.
Pastor Forester is really not a pastor. His real name is Jerry Birches
, a parolee with convictions for child molestation. His parole agreement prohibits him being closer than 1,000 feet to any school. In order to cut costs, the school had stopped doing background checks on new employees, and this slipped through the cracks. This comes to the attention of the school board, and the president of the board of directors immediately fires Pastor “Jerry Birches
” Forester and notifies his parole officer of the violations. Pastor Forester claims the board knew about his background because one member of the board (his aunt Theresa) knew the truth.
Question # 1
Pastor Forester claims his firing was illegal because it was based on his being a convicted felon. His contract with the school provides him with defense coverage for any acts he takes while working for the school. Anna and Lisa sue Pastor Forester and the school for sexual harassment and discrimination, and Pastor Forester requests the school pay for his defense. Discuss whether Anna and Lisa will be successful in their claim of sexual harassment and discrimination against the school and Pastor Forester. Discuss whether the school illegally fired Pastor Forester. Will the school have to pay for the pastor's defense? Analyze and defend your answer.
It was actually in the discovery portion of the injury lawsuit that Pastor Forester's true background came to light. The convict, Birches
, claims the knowledge of his aunt should be imputed to the entire board of directors. Three parents have alleged that their children are now seeing therapists due to abusive comments Birches
made to them at various times during his time in the school. The board immediately convenes and discusses “damage control.” The board knows you took a law and ethics course recently and asks you to write it a memo of what liability it has in this case. List the elements of any tort you believe the school may be liable for and what defenses you may have. Include in your memo whether Aunt Theresa's knowledge will be imputed to the entire board. If so, under what statute, rule, case, or federal law do you base your decision?
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