Scarlet Letter : Suit Against Religious School by San Francisco Employment Discrimination and Harassment Lawyer Daniel Feder

September 28, 1998

Teacher says she was fired for being pregnant, unmarried.

By Charlie Goodyear, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle — Contra Costa and the Bay Area Section

The Plaintiff in a lawsuit, Jessica Martin doesn’t consider herself a sinner.  However, the Walnut Creek religious school that fired her for becoming pregnant out of wedlock branded her with “The Scarlet Letter,” according to her attorney Daniel Feder, when it fired her for being pregnant without getting married.

Martin, an Antioch resident, sued the Walnut Creek Christian School.  She alleged pregnancy discrimination and violation of state and federal fair employment laws.

“She has been devastated by this,” her attorney, Daniel Feder, said yesterday. “She feels like she has been tarnished with the Scarlet Letter.”

She was hired in 1996 as a teacher’s aide in the school’s kindergarten classes.  Martin was fired on Aug. 5, 1997, two days before she was supposed to apologize to the school board for her conduct, according to the suit filed in Contra Costa Superior Court.

“She wasn’t just terminated for being pregnant,” Feder said. “They viewed her pregnancy as a significant breach of faith.”

But Feder said, “We stand by all the allegations. Jessical Martin is young, highly motivated and very credible. They had no problems with her before this, in fact they renewed her contract. If they didn’t dismiss her for the pregnancy then why did they dismiss her?”

Martin, who is in her early 20s and has since given birth to a daughter, has sued the school for unspecified financial damages.  She said her  termination caused her embarrassment, difficulty in finding another job and emotional distress. She filed the lawsuit after lodging complaints in May with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Housing Administration.

24/7 availability

Contact us for a
Free Case Review


Chico's FAS Inc., a Florida women's clothing chain, has become the latest retailer sued in San Francisco for

San Francisco's Gap Inc. will give thousands of California store workers nearly $1.8 million worth of clothing vouchers as compensation.

Law360, New York (August 29, 2012, 2:46 PM ET) -- A California federal judge on Tuesday signed off on a $4 million settlement


How can your employer accommodate you during your pregnancy?

You have the right to have children and a career in California. The government makes sure that employers do not treat you differently if you are pregnant. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act gives you certain...

Your rights in a sexual harassment case

Sexual harassment is in the news every day. Unfortunately for many workers in the San Francisco area, it is something they face on the job. The law protects you. You do not have to tolerate behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable or threatened. Your employer must...

Handling age discrimination in the tech industry

Can you have an age discrimination case if you are not yet a senior citizen? While you may not consider yourself to be on the older side of the workforce, federal employee protection against age discrimination starts at age 40. Studies show that this problem is...

Whistleblowers may be entitled to large monetary awards

Bay Area employees may have found themselves in a situation in the workplace that warrants speaking out about problems. Sometimes called whistleblowers, employees who point out flaws in a company's policies or procedures may be subject to unfair treatment. Recently, a...

Does your employer’s dress code policy discriminate against you?

When you think about discrimination in the workplace, you probably think about denial of a promotion, a good assignment or a better schedule based on your race, religion, gender or some other protected factor. However, there are hidden sources of discrimination that...

CELA - California Employment Lawyers Association
The Bar Association of San Francisco - BASF Member 2013
American Association for Justice
NELA National Employment Lawyers Association
TLPJ Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
The American Trial Lawyers Association