Teri James was fired from her job as a financial aid specialist at San Diego Christian College for being unmarried and pregnant. Clarification: She was fired because the pregnancy was evidence that she had “engaged in activity outside the scope of the Handbook and Community Covenant that does not build up the college’s mission” — namely, premarital sex.
The binding covenant, which James signed shortly before she became pregnant but after she’d already been working at SDCC, asks employees to abstain from, among other things,
abusive anger; malice; jealousy; lust; sexually immoral behavior including premarital sex, adultery, pornography, and homosexuality; evil desires; prejudice based on race, sex, or socioeconomic status; greed; idolatry; slander; profanity; lying; drunkenness; thievery; and dishonesty
and encourages kindness, compassion, integrity, care for the oppressed, commitment to justice, and the recognition of the rights and needs of others.
The covenant also notes that when employees violate the covenant, “[t]he goal of the appropriate action will always be characterized by Christ’s love and redemptive spirit; however, we must recognize that ultimately withdrawal from the community may result if these commitments are not honored.” In this case, Christ’s redemptive spirit led them to turn a pregnant woman out on the street. James is suing the college for wrongful termination, claiming discrimination on account of gender, pregnancy, and marital status. After firing her, the college offered a job to her then-fiance (now husband), despite the fairly unmissable evidence that he, too, had had premarital sex.
He turned them down.