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ESSENCE Poll: Should Religious Organizations Hold Employees to a Moral Code?

Teri James is suing her former employer for firing her after she admitted to having premarital sex.

New mom Teri James is suing her former employer, San Diego Christian College, for firing her last fall after she admitted to having premarital sex.

James, a former financial aid specialist at the college, says she was promptly fired after a supervisor asked whether or not she was with child. The 29-year-old adds that she did sign a contract vowing to abide by the college’s moral code, which stated that all employees abstain from premarital sex.

“I needed a job in this economy and so I never thought that anything would happen,” she said at a press conference.

Strangely enough, James adds, the college offered her then-fiance the job, even though he too had been engaging in premarital sex. Her termination letter states that James was fired for engaging in activity “that does not build up the college’s mission.” Though the college’s officials haven’t responded to the suit, they are expected to argue that they have a legal right to fire James because they are a religious entity.

Do you agree with the college? Should religious entities have the right to decide their employees’ moral code? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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