Warner Pacific's Motion to Dismiss Denied
On Friday, March 11, 2016, King prevailed in challenging Warner Pacific's Motion to Dismiss. The firm has issued the following press release on behalf of Mr. King:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUDGE REFUSES TO DISMISS RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION SUIT
AGAINST WARNER PACIFIC COLLEGE
Today, Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge John A. Wittmayer refused to dismiss an action for religious discrimination against Warner Pacific College filed by Noel King, a Jewish man denied an adjunct position teaching psychology strictly because of his religious faith. Despite the fact that Warner Pacific’s faculty hiring committee, after an extensive vetting process, recommended that Mr. King be offered the position, Warner’s president Andrew Cook declined to offer the position to Mr. King, stating that all employees, regardless of job duties must be Christian and that specifically “[A]ll our faculty and staff (including assistant and volunteer coaches and interns in the counseling center) are in alignment as Christ followers.” Oregon law requires that, for an employer to be entitled to an exemption to the state anti-discrimination law, the employer be able to establish that the employee’s function be closely connected to the primary purposes of the church or institution which teaching a secular subject such as psychology was not.
Judge Wittmayer stated his ruling in an email finding “that Defendant's Motion to Dismiss plaintiff's religious discrimination claim under ORS 659A.030 is denied.” Judge Wittmayer further stated that Defendant’s assertion of an exemption to the law prohibiting religious discrimination “is an affirmative defense that defendant is certainly free to plead if defendant thinks that is appropriate. But it is not before the Court on this motion.”
Please contact the firm for more information.