Morality clauses are in the news again. A Connecticut second-grade teacher was fired after she appeared, with her husband, on Howard Stern’s radio show. The couple participated in a contest called, “Hottest Wife, Ugliest Husband.” She sued her former employer alleging, among other things, sex discrimination and due process violations (under Section 1983). She has also sued the union for violation of the duty of fair representation with regard to its alleged failure to advocate on her behalf during the grievance process.
The teacher, Marie Jarry, took a sick day from work to participate in the contest (which, by the way, they won first prize and $5,000). She admits maybe that wasn’t the best idea. When she returned to work, she was told she’d violated the school’s “morality clause” and was terminated.
More details can be found at The Smoking Gun, as well as a link to the full complaint.
For more on morality clauses, see these recent Delaware Employment Law posts:
Off-Duty Conduct, Generally:
[Editor’s Note: Dan Schwartz of the CT Employment Law Blog always keeps his readers up to date on the hottest employment law topics and stories. He has a great way of demonstrating how just about everything is related to employment law in some way. Well, being the legal eagle that he is, Dan apparently spotted this story at just the same time as Michael Stafford. So, although I can’t send him a hat tip for the story, I do want to send an equally enthusiastic “great post!” to Dan for his great catch. I mean, really, sharing is a very important value. If more managers would give credit where credit is due or share credit where possible, they’d have a much happier group of employees and, in turn, a much easier job. All of that being said, go check out the CT Employment Law Blog for more on this story and Dan’s other great posts! md]