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Business Law

A private high school hires a new Superintendent, George Forester. The school is owned by a local Lutheran Church and is run by a board of directors chosen by church members. Supt. Forester shows up for his first day of work, and sends a memo via intercompany mail to all teachers:
Dear Staff:
There is a new Sheriff in town - and it is me. As your new leader, I am implementing a dress code that includes no slacks or shorts for women and no earrings for male teachers. Men shall all be clean shaven. Violators will be docked one week's pay; 2nd offenses will result in a one week suspension without pay and 3rd offenses, dismissal. All teachers will address me as "Pastor Forester" or "Amen, Pastor Forester." Teachers who fail to abide by these dictates will be docked two points on their annual evaluations. Amen, Pastor Forester."
That day, one teacher, Anna Seenandfeld had a birthday party at the school, having just turned 40. Her frown at the party showed everyone she was not happy about her party. Pastor Forestor had bought black balloons for her and joked with the other teachers about the "over the hill" teacher. The next day, Pastor Forester goes into the teacher's lounge and calls all non-tenured teachers into his office. He tells them that he has assigned himself to be their mentoring teacher and that effectively immediately they will be evaluated weekly. One teacher, Anna Seenandfelt, begins to cry. Another teacher, Andy DuFrane, rolls his eyes and says, "God! These menopausal women should not be allowed around our students." Pastor Forester goes to Anna and hugs her, offering her a tissue. He pats her gently on the behind and whispers, "Act your age, please." When she pulls forcefully away from him, Pastor Forester assigns her to work Saturday detention for the next three weeks to "toughen her up."
A pregnant P.E. teacher, Lisa Ready, is reassigned by Pastor Forester to a math position (even though she has only three credits in math) because Pastor Forester says this position is "less strenuous for a pregnant lady."
On the 3rd week of detention duty, a student stabs Anna, wounding her severely. Although she survives and recovers, she loses one kidney as a result of the injury. The school doesn't offer health insurance, and Anna incurs over $55,000 for her hospital bills; the student (and his family) is insolvent.
One month later, a parent complains about his student being unable to succeed in his math course due to the teacher's (Lisa's) incompetence, Pastor Forester fires Lisa Ready for her inability to perform her job. Pastor Forester tells Lisa in front of her class of students, and then walks her out of the building; 2 hours later, Lisa goes into premature labor and delivers her first son, who has severe health issues as a result of being premature. The baby's doctor states the cause of early labor as being from "intense duress and undue stress." Lisa's husband's health insurance covers all of the costs of the birth and the baby's care.
Pastor Forester is really not a Pastor. His real name is Jerry Birches, who is a parolee with convictions for child molestation. His parole agreement prohibits him being closer than 1000 feet to any school. In order to cut costs, the school had stopped doing background checks on new employees, and this slipped through the cracks. This comes to the attention of the school board, and the President of the Board of Directors immediately fires Pastor "Jerry Birches" Forester and notifies his parole officer of the violations. Pastor Forester claims the board knew about his background, because one member of the board (his aunt Theresa) knew the truth.

1. TCO E. Anna and Lisa both sue the school and Pastor Forester for discrimination and further, for liability for their injuries (the stabbing damages and the damages to Lisa's son's health.) You are one of the board of directors and need to analyze the liability of the school. Limit your answer to the SCHOOL'S liability only.
Write a brief memo as to whether Pastor Forester committed illegal or discriminatory practices in his brief tenure described in this situation. Then, analyze the potential liability of the school. Discuss agency liability, as well as any employment law aspects. Explain whether you feel that the two injured teachers have cases for recovery against the school. Discuss whether the school being a religious, private school has any bearing on or protection from liability. Include all defenses available to the school.

2. TCO A, H and E. In the discovery portion of the case, it is determined that Pastor Forester is really not a Pastor. His real name is Jerry Birches, who is a parolee with convictions for child molestation. His parole agreement prohibits him being closer than 1000 feet to any school. In order to cut costs, the school had stopped doing background checks on new employees, and this slipped through the cracks. The President of the Board of Directors immediately fires Pastor "Jerry Birches" Forester and notifies his parole officer of the violations. Pastor Forester claims the board knew about his background, because one member of the board (his aunt Theresa) knew the truth. He claims her knowledge should be imputed to the entire board of directors.
The board immediately convenes and discusses "damage control." They know you took a Law and Ethics course recently and ask you to write a memo to the parents of the students, explaining the situation. Using ethical and legal considerations (including the fact you are in the middle of multiple lawsuits), write the memo.

924 words, five references

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1. TCO E. Anna and Lisa both sue the school and Pastor Forester for discrimination and further, for liability for their injuries (the stabbing damages and the damages to Lisa's son's health.) You are one of the board of directors and need to analyze the liability of the school. Limit your answer to the SCHOOL'S liability only.
Write a brief memo as to whether Pastor Forester committed illegal or discriminatory practices in his brief tenure described in this situation. Then, analyze the potential liability of the school. Discuss agency liability, as well as any employment law aspects. Explain whether you feel that the two injured teachers have cases for recovery against the school. Discuss whether the school being a religious, private school has any bearing on or protection from liability. Include all defenses available to the school.
TO: The board of directors:
FROM: Law and Ethics teacher
DATE: October 22, 2010
SUBJECT: Pastor Forrester issue

From the examination of facts, Pastor Forrester has committed illegal and discriminatory acts these acts can bring liability to school. The school can be held liable for the acts of Pastor Forrester and may have to pay damages.
Pastor Forrester has committed illegal and discriminatory practices when he addressed Anna Seenandfeld as "over the hill" teacher. He created such an atmosphere in the school that Andy DuFrane called her "God! These menopausal women should not be allowed around our students". ...

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