Eastside Catholic's Answer and Affirmative Defenses | Catholic Church | Discrimination

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 MARK ZMUDA, 8 Plaintiff, 9 v. 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 1. CORPORATION OF THE CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF SEATTLE d.b.a.

THE ARCHDIOCESE OF SEATTLE, and EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL, Defendants. COME NOW defendant EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL (“Eastside Catholic”), by and through its attorneys of record, and hereby submits this Answer and Affirmative Defenses to Plaintiff Mark Zmuda’s (“Plaintiff”) Complaint. The numbered paragraphs in the below Answer are intended to correspond directly with the paragraph numbers in Plaintiff’s Complaint. Eastside Catholic denies Plaintiff’s conclusory allegations set forth in the Roman number heading descriptions in Plaintiff’s Complaint. ANSWER I. In answer to paragraph 1 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, the averments appear to call EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES No. SUPERIOR COURT OF WASHINGTON FOR KING COUNTY

for legal conclusions and thus Eastside Catholic defers to the court. To the extent an answer is required, Eastside Catholic denies the same. Plaintiff’s claims touch on issues of the nature, extent, and administration of the religious ministry, including application of Canon law to the
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319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
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service of priests and clergy and seminarians, and, therefore, are barred from consideration and/or are not actionable in this forum pursuant to the mandates of the United States and Washington State Courts and additional provisions regarding separation of church and state, pursuant to the Constitutional guarantees of the United States and of Washington, and pursuant to the religious exception. II. 2. same. In answer to paragraph 2 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

Eastside Catholic presented a job offer to Plaintiff while Plaintiff resided in Fort

Lauderdale, Florida. 3. In answer to paragraph 3 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic is without

knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of Plaintiff’s averments contained in that paragraph as they appear to be averments directed at co-defendant. 4. same. III. 5. In answer to paragraph 5 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that In answer to paragraph 4 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits the

16 Plaintiff was hired to be Eastside Catholic’s vice principal in May of 2012 and that Plaintiff 17 began work as vice principal in July of 2012. Eastside Catholic also admits that Plaintiff 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES -2
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
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worked as a coach for Eastside Catholic’s swimming team. 6. In answer to paragraph 6 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

Plaintiff informed it that he was married to a man in November of 2013. Eastside Catholic was not aware that Plaintiff had a domestic partner at the time Plaintiff was hired as vice principal of Eastside Catholic. Furthermore, on July 25, 2012, Plaintiff explicitly identified his same-sex partner as his “friend” on his emergency contact form filed with Eastside Catholic. On August 20, 2012, Plaintiff filled out an updated emergency contact form where he referred to his same-

 

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sex partner as his “roommate.” As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 6 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 7. In answer to paragraph 7 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Referendum 74 cited by

Plaintiff speaks for itself, and Eastside Catholic denies any allegation or statement inconsistent with the plain language of the referenced Referendum. 8. In answer to paragraph 8 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic is without

knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of Plaintiff’s averments contained in that paragraph as Eastside Catholic is unaware of everything Plaintiff did or did not share while working for Eastside Catholic. On July 25, 2012, Plaintiff explicitly identified

his same-sex partner as his “friend” on his emergency contact form filed with Eastside Catholic. On August 20, 2012, Plaintiff filled out an updated emergency contact form where he referred to his same-sex partner as his “roommate.” On, or about, January 31, 2013, Plaintiff volunteered that he was gay. As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 8 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 9. same. In answer to paragraph 9 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

In January of 2013, Eastside Catholic received concerns from parents and others

16 regarding public photos that were posted on Plaintiff’s Facebook page that were inappropriate 17 for a representative of the school and inconsistent with the Catholic faith-based values of the 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES -3
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
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school. On January 31, 2013, representatives of Eastside Catholic met with Plaintiff to discuss the inappropriate content publicly displayed on Plaintiff’s Facebook page. During this meeting, Plaintiff volunteered that he was a gay man. Plaintiff also volunteered to remove his entire profile from Facebook and Plaintiff did so after the meeting. Following the meeting, Eastside Catholic sent a letter to Plaintiff memorializing the meeting and reminding Plaintiff about the Catholic teachings that the school follows and that it expected Plaintiff and all faculty to follow. Specifically, Eastside Catholic stated in the letter that:

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 same. 11. 13 10.

As we told you (and as stated in our handbook), the school expects that the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. You indicated that you understood this and that your intent is to comply with this requirement now and in the future. *** …Further, you are reminded of our handbook policies and the expectations stated above and advised that any failure to comply with them could lead to discipline, up to and including termination of employment. To indicate your acknowledgement of this letter and your commitment to comply with these policies and expectations, please sign this letter below and return it to us (you may retain a copy for your own files). Plaintiff signed the letter confirming his understanding of the school’s Catholic teachings. In answer to paragraph 10 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

In answer to paragraph 11 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

Plaintiff volunteered to the administrators that were present at the January 31, 2013, meeting, that he was gay. Outside of the administrators that were present at the January 31, 2013, 14 meeting, Eastside Catholic cannot confirm who may have known about Plaintiff’s sexual 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 orientation. As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 11 of Plaintiff’s

Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 12. In answer to paragraph 12 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

on, or about, November 4, 2013, it learned that Plaintiff married his domestic partner from a teacher who allegedly heard about it from Plaintiff. As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 12 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 13. In answer to paragraph 13 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

Plaintiff did not disclose that he married his same-sex partner. Furthermore, on July 25, 2012, Plaintiff explicitly identified his same-sex partner as his “friend” on his emergency contact form filed with Eastside Catholic. On August 20, 2012, Plaintiff filled out an updated

emergency contact form where he referred to his same-sex partner as his “roommate.” Plaintiff
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES -4
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
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shared the fact that he married his same-sex partner with another teacher who eventually brought it to Eastside Catholic’s attention. As to any remaining averments contained in

paragraph 13 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of Plaintiff’s averments contained in that paragraph as Eastside Catholic does not know specifics with respect to who Plaintiff talked to or what he talked about. 14. same. 15. same. 16. In answer to paragraph 16 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the In answer to paragraph 15 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits the In answer to paragraph 14 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits the

same. Prior to being hired, Plaintiff identified himself as a Catholic and as being a member within a parish in Florida. Plaintiff was informed that if he accepted a position with Eastside Catholic, he would be responsible for promoting and teaching the mission of the school. Eastside Catholic’s mission states that it is a Catholic faith-based educational community. Plaintiff’s Job Description states that he was responsible for assisting and ensuring an

16 environment that fosters a Catholic Educational Community and that he was to supervise and 17 maintain teacher and staff files according to the Archdiocese of Seattle’s specifications. 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Plaintiff’s Job Description further states that he is responsible for supporting the Catholic doctrine and is familiar with the Employee Handbook. Plaintiff’s responsibilities were further outlined in the Employee Handbooks that Plaintiff was provided and that Plaintiff signed prior to and during his employment. Specifically, Eastside Catholic’s purpose can be found in Part I of its Employee Handbook: Eastside Catholic School is a religious educational community based on the Roman Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, and the Catholic faith underpins every
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES -5
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
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aspect of the Eastside Catholic experience, including employment relationships. The Employee Handbook further describes Employee Expectations: It is assumed that people who choose to work at Eastside Catholic do so because they share in the values of the Catholic Church, and the Mission of Eastside Catholic… *** …[T]he school is a Catholic school, and our faculty and staff must accurately and faithfully teach and express Catholic Church teachings and values at all times. Further, the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. The policy, values and teachings of the Catholic Church are solely determined by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, using its procedures… The Employee Handbook goes on to state that: Students will best achieve intellectual excellence, have meaningful relationships with others and with God, and become servant leaders, when they regularly observe and interact with staff and faculty members who are personally demonstrating the Mission and Touchstones at the School and through application in their own lives. If students hear one thing, but observe another thing, they may see hypocrisy or ambiguity, and may discount what is meant to be sound teaching. As a Catholic, Plaintiff was aware of and was committed to the magisterium of the Catholic Church. During his tenure at Eastside Catholic, Plaintiff directly supervised the Middle School religion teachers, prepared their performance reviews, including conducting class observations for Eastside Catholic’s religion classes. Plaintiff also served as Eucharistic Minister at some of Eastside Catholic’s Masses and Liturgies. Plaintiff also delivered the opening prayer over the PA system for Eastside Catholic’s employees and students. Eastside Catholic reaffirmed Plaintiff’s responsibility in a letter sent to Plaintiff following concerns about Plaintiff’s Facebook page. Specifically, Eastside Catholic stated in the letter that: As we told you (and as stated in our handbook), the school expects that the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church.
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES -6
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 20. 22 23 21. 24 25 17.

You indicated that you understood this and that your intent is to comply with this requirement now and in the future. *** … Further, you are reminded of our handbook policies and the expectations stated above and advised that any failure to comply with them could lead to discipline, up to and including termination of employment. To indicate your acknowledgement of this letter and your commitment to comply with these policies and expectations, please sign this letter below and return it to us (you may retain a copy for your own files). In answer to paragraph 17 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

same. On July 25, 2012, Plaintiff explicitly identified his same-sex partner as his “friend” on his emergency contact form filed with Eastside Catholic. On August 20, 2012, Plaintiff filled out an updated emergency contact form where he referred to his same-sex partner as his “roommate.” Plaintiff shared the fact that he married his same-sex partner with another teacher who eventually brought it to Eastside Catholic’s attention. 18. In answer to paragraph 18 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

same. Representatives of Eastside Catholic did participate in a meeting with Plaintiff in November where Plaintiff’s marriage was discussed. This meeting took place after Eastside Catholic learned from a teacher that Plaintiff disclosed to that teacher that he married his samesex partner. 19. In answer to paragraph 19 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

same. Representatives of Eastside Catholic did participate in a meeting with Plaintiff in November where Plaintiff’s marriage was discussed. As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 19 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. In answer to paragraph 20 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, upon present information

and belief, Eastside Catholic denies the same. In answer to paragraph 21 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

same. Upon information and belief, Sr. Mary had a friendly relationship with Plaintiff and was looking for creative ways for Plaintiff to comply with the teachings of the Church.
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES -7
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 same.

22.

In answer to paragraph 22 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

the school President had an open and friendly conversation with Plaintiff whereby they discussed a hypothetical situation involving a commitment ceremony in the event of divorce. 23. In answer to paragraph 23 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits the

24.

In answer to paragraph 24 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

the school President informed Plaintiff that she had met with Archbishop J. Peter Sartain and others to discuss Plaintiff’s employment. As to any remaining averments contained in

paragraph 24 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 25. In answer to paragraph 25 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, upon present information

and belief, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 26. In answer to paragraph 26 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

on December 17, 2013, Plaintiff met with the School President, ECS Board of Trustees Chairman Gene Colin, and Mike Patterson, the attorney for Eastside Catholic. As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 26 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same.

16 27. 17 same. 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES -8
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
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In answer to paragraph 27 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits the

28.

In answer to paragraph 28 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

Mr. Patterson informed Plaintiff that he would be paid his normal salary through December 31, 2013. Eastside Catholic closed for a scheduled holiday on December 20, 2013. As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 28 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 29. In answer to paragraph 29 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

Mr. Patterson did not inform Plaintiff that he was leaving because he was gay. As to any

 

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remaining averments contained in paragraph 29 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 30. In answer to paragraph 30 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

Mr. Patterson did not inform Plaintiff that he was leaving due to poor job performance. As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 30 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 31. In answer to paragraph 31 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

Plaintiff left his employment at Eastside Catholic because he married his husband. As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 31 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 32. In answer to paragraph 32 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

its website included a statement that was a portion of a more complete statement contained in the Employee Handbook. The Employee Handbook that Plaintiff received and signed prior to commencing his employment at Eastside Catholic expanded on the statement on the website and states as follows: IV. ROLE OF CANON LAW:

As an institution formed to serve the legitimate Roman Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, Eastside Catholic School is subject to certain requirements of Canon law established by the Catholic Church and which may supersede certain local, state, and federal laws regarding employment in certain circumstances. V. NONDISCRIMINATION AND PROHIBITION OF HARRASMENT AND BULLYING:

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Eastside Catholic School does not discriminate with regard to an employee or applicant on the basis of any status or condition which is protected by an applicable law. As a religious institution, not all discrimination laws apply and Eastside Catholic may invoke its exempt status in some circumstances…

EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES -9
319476

PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
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33.

In answer to paragraph 33 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

it removed the portion of the Employee Handbook that was included on the website as it was not a full representation of the information contained in the Employee Handbook. 34. In answer to paragraph 34 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

it gave Plaintiff an Employee Handbook before he commenced employment and that Eastside Catholic provided all employees, including Plaintiff, with an updated Employee Handbook in 2013 before the new school year started. All employees of Eastside Catholic are provided with updated Employee Handbooks at the beginning of every school year. As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 34 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of Plaintiff’s averments contained in that paragraph. 35. In answer to paragraph 35 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

averments contained in that paragraph to the extent the citation is incomplete. The Employee Handbook that Plaintiff received and signed prior to commencing his employment at Eastside Catholic states as follows: IV. ROLE OF CANON LAW:

As an institution formed to serve the legitimate Roman Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, Eastside Catholic School is subject to certain requirements of Canon law established by the Catholic Church and which may supersede certain local, state, and federal laws regarding employment in certain circumstances. V. NONDISCRIMINATION AND PROHIBITION OF HARRASMENT AND BULLYING:

Eastside Catholic School does not discriminate with regard to an employee or applicant on the basis of any status or condition which is protected by an applicable law. As a religious institution, not all discrimination laws apply and Eastside Catholic may invoke its exempt status in some circumstances…

EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 10
319476

PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 same.

36.

In answer to paragraph 36 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, the communication cited by

Plaintiff speaks for itself, and Eastside Catholic denies any allegation or statement inconsistent with the plain language of the referenced correspondence. As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 36 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 37. In answer to paragraph 37 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

on December 19, 2013, there was a weekly faculty meeting as there typically was every Thursday during the school year. Plaintiff’s separation. 38. 38. In answer to paragraph 38 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, upon present information and During this meeting, there was discussion regarding

belief, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 39. 39. In answer to paragraph 39 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, upon present information and

belief, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 40. In answer to paragraph 40 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

COUNT I 41. 16 same. 17 42. 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 11
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
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In answer to paragraph 41 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits the

In answer to paragraph 42 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

Plaintiff performed his job duties to the satisfaction of his superiors. As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 42 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of Plaintiff’s averments contained in that paragraph as Eastside Catholic cannot be expected to know the opinions of all people who have worked with Plaintiff. 43. In answer to paragraph 43 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

 

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the website and Employee Handbook referenced by Plaintiff speaks for itself. The Employee Handbook that Plaintiff received and signed prior to commencing his employment at Eastside Catholic expanded on the statement on the website and states as follows: IV. ROLE OF CANON LAW:

As an institution formed to serve the legitimate Roman Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, Eastside Catholic School is subject to certain requirements of Canon law established by the Catholic Church and which may supersede certain local, state, and federal laws regarding employment in certain circumstances. V. NONDISCRIMINATION AND PROHIBITION OF HARRASMENT AND BULLYING:

Eastside Catholic School does not discriminate with regard to an employee or applicant on the basis of any status or condition which is protected by an applicable law. As a religious institution, not all discrimination laws apply and Eastside Catholic may invoke its exempt status in some circumstances… In addition, Plaintiff was informed that if he accepted a position with Eastside Catholic, he would be responsible for promoting and teaching the mission of the school. Plaintiff’s

responsibilities were further outlined in the Employee Handbooks that Plaintiff was provided and that Plaintiff signed prior to and during his employment. As a Catholic, Plaintiff was aware of and was committed to the magisterium of the Catholic Church. 44. In answer to paragraph 44 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

same. Plaintiff was informed that if he accepted a position with Eastside Catholic, he would be responsible for promoting and teaching the mission of the school. Plaintiff’s responsibilities were further outlined in the Employee Handbooks that Plaintiff was provided and that Plaintiff signed prior to and during his employment. As a Catholic, Plaintiff was aware of and was committed to the magisterium of the Catholic Church. In addition, in January of 2013, Eastside Catholic received concerns from parents and others regarding public photos that were posted on
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 12
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
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Plaintiff’s Facebook page that were inappropriate for a representative of the school and inconsistent with the Catholic faith-based values of the school. On January 31, 2013,

representatives of Eastside Catholic met with Plaintiff to discuss the inappropriate content publicly displayed on Plaintiff’s Facebook page. During this meeting, Plaintiff volunteered that he was a gay man. Plaintiff also volunteered to remove his entire profile from Facebook and Plaintiff did so after the meeting. Following the meeting, Eastside Catholic sent a letter to Plaintiff memorializing the meeting and reminding Plaintiff about the Catholic teachings that the school follows and that it expected Plaintiff and all faculty to follow. Specifically, Eastside Catholic stated in the letter that: As we told you (and as stated in our handbook), the school expects that the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. You indicated that you understood this and that your intent is to comply with this requirement now and in the future. *** …Further, you are reminded of our handbook policies and the expectations stated above and advised that any failure to comply with them could lead to discipline, up to and including termination of employment. To indicate your acknowledgement of this letter and your commitment to comply with these policies and expectations, please sign this letter below and return it to us (you may retain a copy for your own files). Plaintiff signed the letter confirming his understanding of the school’s Catholic teachings. 45. In answer to paragraph 45 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

same. Plaintiff contravened the Catholic Church and the mission of Eastside Catholic and violated the Employee Handbook when he married a man. As a Catholic, Plaintiff was aware of and was committed to the magisterium of the Catholic Church. As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 45 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 46. In answer to paragraph 46 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

the Archdiocese is a Catholic institution. Eastside Catholic also admits that it is a separately
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 13
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
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incorporated non-profit institution. Eastside Catholic is a Catholic faith-based educational community that is approved as a Catholic school by the Archdiocese. As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 46 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of Plaintiff’s averments contained in that paragraph as they appear to be averments directed at co-defendant. 47. In answer to paragraph 47 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic is without

knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of Plaintiff’s averments contained in that paragraph as they appear to be averments directed at co-defendant. 48. In answer to paragraph 48 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic is without

knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of Plaintiff’s averments contained in that paragraph as they appear to be averments directed at co-defendant. Eastside Catholic is a Catholic faith-based educational community that is approved as a Catholic school by the Archdiocese. The school is subject to a periodic Catholic identity accreditation review by the Archdiocese. 49. In answer to paragraph 49 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic is without

knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of Plaintiff’s averments 16 contained in that paragraph as they appear to be averments directed at co-defendant. 17 50. 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 14
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
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In answer to paragraph 50 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic is without

knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of Plaintiff’s averments contained in that paragraph as they appear to be averments directed at co-defendant, and, therefore, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 51. In answer to paragraph 51 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies that

there were any improper efforts to obtain Plaintiff’s termination. 52. In answer to paragraph 52 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic is without

knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of Plaintiff’s averments

 

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contained in that paragraph as they appear to be averments directed at co-defendant, and, therefore, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 53. In answer to paragraph 53 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic is without

knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of Plaintiff’s averments contained in that paragraph as they appear to be averments directed at co-defendant, and, therefore, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 54. In answer to paragraph 54 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic is without

knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of Plaintiff’s averments contained in that paragraph as they appear to be averments directed at co-defendant, and, therefore, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 55. In answer to paragraph 55 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic is without

knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of Plaintiff’s averments contained in that paragraph as they appear to be averments directed at co-defendant, and, therefore, Eastside Catholic denies the same. COUNT II 56. In answer to paragraph 56 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

16 same. Prior to being hired, Plaintiff identified himself as a Catholic and as being a member 17 within a parish in Florida. Plaintiff was informed that if he accepted a position with Eastside 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Catholic, he would be responsible for promoting and teaching the mission of the school. Eastside Catholic’s mission states that it is a Catholic faith-based educational community. Plaintiff’s Job Description states that he was responsible for assisting and ensuring an environment that fosters a Catholic Educational Community and that he was to supervise and maintain teacher and staff files according to the Archdiocese of Seattle’s specifications. Plaintiff’s Job Description further states that he is responsible for supporting the Catholic doctrine and is familiar with the Employee Handbook. Plaintiff’s responsibilities were further outlined in the Employee Handbooks that Plaintiff was provided and that Plaintiff signed prior
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 15
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

to and during his employment. Specifically, Eastside Catholic’s purpose can be found in Part I of its Employee Handbook: Eastside Catholic School is a religious educational community based on the Roman Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, and the Catholic faith underpins every aspect of the Eastside Catholic experience, including employment relationships. The Employee Handbook further describes Employee Expectations: It is assumed that people who choose to work at Eastside Catholic do so because they share in the values of the Catholic Church, and the Mission of Eastside Catholic… *** …[T]he school is a Catholic school, and our faculty and staff must accurately and faithfully teach and express Catholic Church teachings and values at all times. Further, the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. The policy, values and teachings of the Catholic Church are solely determined by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, using its procedures… The Employee Handbook goes on to state that: Students will best achieve intellectual excellence, have meaningful relationships with others and with God, and become servant leaders, when they regularly observe and interact with staff and faculty members who are personally demonstrating the Mission and Touchstones at the School and through application in their own lives. If students hear one thing, but observe another thing, they may see hypocrisy or ambiguity, and may discount what is meant to be sound teaching. As a Catholic, Plaintiff was aware of and was committed to the magisterium of the Catholic Church. During his tenure at Eastside Catholic, Plaintiff directly supervised the Middle School religion teachers, prepared their performance reviews, including conducting class observations for Eastside Catholic’s religion classes. Plaintiff also served as Eucharistic Minister at some of Eastside Catholic’s Masses and Liturgies. Plaintiff also delivered the opening prayer over the PA system for Eastside Catholic’s employees and students.
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 16
319476

Eastside Catholic reaffirmed
 

PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Plaintiff’s responsibility in a letter sent to Plaintiff following concerns about Plaintiff’s Facebook page. Specifically, Eastside Catholic stated in the letter that: As we told you (and as stated in our handbook), the school expects that the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. You indicated that you understood this and that your intent is to comply with this requirement now and in the future. *** …Further, you are reminded of our handbook policies and the expectations stated above and advised that any failure to comply with them could lead to discipline, up to and including termination of employment. To indicate your acknowledgement of this letter and your commitment to comply with these policies and expectations, please sign this letter below and return it to us (you may retain a copy for your own files). 57. In answer to paragraph 57 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

same. Prior to being hired, Plaintiff identified himself as a Catholic and as being a member within a parish in Florida. Plaintiff was informed that if he accepted a position with Eastside Catholic, he would be responsible for promoting and teaching the mission of the school. Eastside Catholic’s mission states that it is a Catholic faith-based educational community. Plaintiff’s Job Description states that he was responsible for assisting and ensuring an environment that fosters a Catholic Educational Community and that he was to supervise and maintain teacher and staff files according to the Archdiocese of Seattle’s specifications. Plaintiff’s Job Description further states that he is responsible for supporting the Catholic doctrine and is familiar with the Employee Handbook. Plaintiff’s responsibilities were further outlined in the Employee Handbooks that Plaintiff was provided and that Plaintiff signed prior to and during his employment. Specifically, Eastside Catholic’s purpose can be found in Part I of its Employee Handbook: Eastside Catholic School is a religious educational community based on the Roman Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 17
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

education for children, and the Catholic faith underpins every aspect of the Eastside Catholic experience, including employment relationships. The Employee Handbook further describes Employee Expectations: It is assumed that people who choose to work at Eastside Catholic do so because they share in the values of the Catholic Church, and the Mission of Eastside Catholic… *** …[T]he school is a Catholic school, and our faculty and staff must accurately and faithfully teach and express Catholic Church teachings and values at all times. Further, the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. The policy, values and teachings of the Catholic Church are solely determined by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, using its procedures… The Employee Handbook goes on to state that: Students will best achieve intellectual excellence, have meaningful relationships with others and with God, and become servant leaders, when they regularly observe and interact with staff and faculty members who are personally demonstrating the Mission and Touchstones at the School and through application in their own lives. If students hear one thing, but observe another thing, they may see hypocrisy or ambiguity, and may discount what is meant to be sound teaching. As a Catholic, Plaintiff was aware of and was committed to the magisterium of the Catholic Church. During his tenure at Eastside Catholic, Plaintiff directly supervised the Middle School

18 religion teachers, prepared their performance reviews, including conducting class observations 19 for Eastside Catholic’s religion classes. Plaintiff also served as Eucharistic Minister at some of 20 Eastside Catholic’s Masses and Liturgies. Plaintiff also delivered the opening prayer over the 21 22 23 24 25 As we told you (and as stated in our handbook), the school expects that the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church.
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 18
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

PA system for Eastside Catholic’s employees and students. Eastside Catholic reaffirmed Plaintiff’s responsibility in a letter sent to Plaintiff following concerns about Plaintiff’s Facebook page. Specifically, Eastside Catholic stated in the letter that:

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 58.

You indicated that you understood this and that your intent is to comply with this requirement now and in the future. *** …Further, you are reminded of our handbook policies and the expectations stated above and advised that any failure to comply with them could lead to discipline, up to and including termination of employment. To indicate your acknowledgement of this letter and your commitment to comply with these policies and expectations, please sign this letter below and return it to us (you may retain a copy for your own files). In answer to paragraph 58 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

same. Prior to being hired, Plaintiff identified himself as a Catholic and as being a member within a parish in Florida. Plaintiff was informed that if he accepted a position with Eastside Catholic, he would be responsible for promoting and teaching the mission of the school. Eastside Catholic’s mission states that it is a Catholic faith-based educational community. Plaintiff’s Job Description states that he was responsible for assisting and ensuring an environment that fosters a Catholic Educational Community and that he was to supervise and maintain teacher and staff files according to the Archdiocese of Seattle’s specifications. Plaintiff’s Job Description further states that he is responsible for supporting the Catholic doctrine and is familiar with the Employee Handbook. Plaintiff’s responsibilities were further outlined in the Employee Handbooks that Plaintiff was provided and that Plaintiff signed prior to and during his employment. Specifically, Eastside Catholic’s purpose can be found in Part I of its Employee Handbook: Eastside Catholic School is a religious educational community based on the Roman Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, and the Catholic faith underpins every aspect of the Eastside Catholic experience, including employment relationships. The Employee Handbook further describes Employee Expectations:

EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 19
319476

PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

It is assumed that people who choose to work at Eastside Catholic do so because they share in the values of the Catholic Church, and the Mission of Eastside Catholic… *** …[T]he school is a Catholic school, and our faculty and staff must accurately and faithfully teach and express Catholic Church teachings and values at all times. Further, the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. The policy, values and teachings of the Catholic Church are solely determined by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, using its procedures… The Employee Handbook goes on to state that: Students will best achieve intellectual excellence, have meaningful relationships with others and with God, and become servant leaders, when they regularly observe and interact with staff and faculty members who are personally demonstrating the Mission and Touchstones at the School and through application in their own lives. If students hear one thing, but observe another thing, they may see hypocrisy or ambiguity, and may discount what is meant to be sound teaching. As a Catholic, Plaintiff was aware of and was committed to the magisterium of the Catholic Church. During his tenure at Eastside Catholic, Plaintiff directly supervised the Middle School religion teachers and prepared their performance reviews, including conducting class observations for Eastside Catholic’s religion classes. Plaintiff also served as Eucharistic

Minister at some of Eastside Catholic’s Masses and Liturgies. Plaintiff also delivered the opening prayer over the PA system for Eastside Catholic’s employees and students. Eastside Catholic reaffirmed Plaintiff’s responsibility in a letter sent to Plaintiff following concerns about Plaintiff’s Facebook page. Specifically, Eastside Catholic stated in the letter that: As we told you (and as stated in our handbook), the school expects that the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. You indicated that you understood this and that your intent is to comply with this requirement now and in the future. *** …Further, you are reminded of our handbook policies and the expectations stated above and advised that any failure to comply
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 20
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 59.

with them could lead to discipline, up to and including termination of employment. To indicate your acknowledgement of this letter and your commitment to comply with these policies and expectations, please sign this letter below and return it to us (you may retain a copy for your own files). In answer to paragraph 59 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

same. Plaintiff’s job duties were inextricably intertwined with the religious practices and activities of the Catholic Church. Eastside Catholic’s mission states that it is a Catholic faithbased educational community. Plaintiff’s responsibilities were further outlined in the

Employee Handbooks that Plaintiff was provided and that Plaintiff signed prior to and during his employment. Plaintiff’s Job Description states that he was responsible for assisting and ensuring an environment that fosters a Catholic Educational Community and that he was to supervise and maintain teacher and staff files according to the Archdiocese of Seattle’s specifications. Plaintiff’s Job Description further states that he is responsible for supporting the

12 Catholic doctrine and is familiar with the Employee Handbook. Eastside Catholic’s purpose 13 can be found in Part I of its Employee Handbook: 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Eastside Catholic School is a religious educational community based on the Roman Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, and the Catholic faith underpins every aspect of the Eastside Catholic experience, including employment relationships. The Employee Handbook further describes Employee Expectations: It is assumed that people who choose to work at Eastside Catholic do so because they share in the values of the Catholic Church, and the Mission of Eastside Catholic… *** …[T]he school is a Catholic school, and our faculty and staff must accurately and faithfully teach and express Catholic Church teachings and values at all times. Further, the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. The policy, values and
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 21
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 60.

teachings of the Catholic Church are solely determined by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, using its procedures… The Employee Handbook goes on to state that: Students will best achieve intellectual excellence, have meaningful relationships with others and with God, and become servant leaders, when they regularly observe and interact with staff and faculty members who are personally demonstrating the Mission and Touchstones at the School and through application in their own lives. If students hear one thing, but observe another thing, they may see hypocrisy or ambiguity, and may discount what is meant to be sound teaching. As a Catholic, Plaintiff was aware of and was committed to the magisterium of the Catholic Church. During his tenure at Eastside Catholic, Plaintiff directly supervised the Middle School religion teachers and prepared their performance reviews, including conducting class observations for Eastside Catholic’s religion classes. Plaintiff also served as Eucharistic

Minister at some of Eastside Catholic’s Masses and Liturgies. Plaintiff also delivered the opening prayer over the PA system for Eastside Catholic’s employees and students. Eastside Catholic reaffirmed Plaintiff’s responsibility in a letter sent to Plaintiff following concerns about Plaintiff’s Facebook page. Specifically, Eastside Catholic stated in the letter that: As we told you (and as stated in our handbook), the school expects that the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. You indicated that you understood this and that your intent is to comply with this requirement now and in the future. *** …Further, you are reminded of our handbook policies and the expectations stated above and advised that any failure to comply with them could lead to discipline, up to and including termination of employment. To indicate your acknowledgement of this letter and your commitment to comply with these policies and expectations, please sign this letter below and return it to us (you may retain a copy for your own files). in answer to paragraph 60 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, RCW 49.60, et. seq. speaks

for itself, and Eastside Catholic denies any allegation or statement inconsistent with the plain
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 22
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

language of the referenced RCW. Eastside Catholic is exempt from the provision of RCW 49.60, et. seq. pursuant to RCW 49.60.040(11). 61. same. 62. same. 63. same. 64. same. COUNT III 65. same. 66. In answer to paragraph 66 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that In answer to paragraph 65 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits the In answer to paragraph 64 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the In answer to paragraph 63 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the In answer to paragraph 62 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the In answer to paragraph 61 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

it gave Plaintiff an Employee Handbook before he commenced employment and that Eastside Catholic provided all employees, including Plaintiff, with an updated Employee Handbook in 16 2013 before the new school year started. All employees of Eastside Catholic are provided with 17 updated Employee Handbooks at the beginning of every school year. 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 67. In answer to paragraph 67 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, the Employee Handbook

speaks for itself, and Eastside Catholic denies any allegation or statement inconsistent with the plain language of the referenced Employee Handbook. 68. In answer to paragraph 68 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

averments contained in that paragraph to the extent the citation is incomplete. The Employee Handbook that Plaintiff received and signed prior to commencing his employment at Eastside Catholic states as follows: //
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 23
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5

IV.

ROLE OF CANON LAW:

As an institution formed to serve the legitimate Roman Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, Eastside Catholic School is subject to certain requirements of Canon law established by the Catholic Church and which may supersede certain local, state, and federal laws regarding employment in certain circumstances. V. NONDISCRIMINATION AND PROHIBITION OF HARRASMENT AND BULLYING:

6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Eastside Catholic School does not discriminate with regard to an employee or applicant on the basis of any status or condition which is protected by an applicable law. As a religious institution, not all discrimination laws apply and Eastside Catholic may invoke its exempt status in some circumstances… Eastside Catholic’s purpose can be found in Part I of its Employee Handbook: Eastside Catholic School is a religious educational community based on the Roman Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, and the Catholic faith underpins every aspect of the Eastside Catholic experience, including employment relationships. The Employee Handbook further describes Employee Expectations: It is assumed that people who choose to work at Eastside Catholic do so because they share in the values of the Catholic Church, and the Mission of Eastside Catholic… *** …[T]he school is a Catholic school, and our faculty and staff must accurately and faithfully teach and express Catholic Church teachings and values at all times. Further, the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. The policy, values and teachings of the Catholic Church are solely determined by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, using its procedures… The Employee Handbook goes on to state that: Students will best achieve intellectual excellence, have meaningful relationships with others and with God, and become servant
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 24
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 69.

leaders, when they regularly observe and interact with staff and faculty members who are personally demonstrating the Mission and Touchstones at the School and through application in their own lives. If students hear one thing, but observe another thing, they may see hypocrisy or ambiguity, and may discount what is meant to be sound teaching. In answer to paragraph 69 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

averments contained in that paragraph to the extent the citation is incomplete. The Employee Handbook that Plaintiff received and signed prior to commencing his employment at Eastside Catholic states as follows: IV. ROLE OF CANON LAW:

As an institution formed to serve the legitimate Roman Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, Eastside Catholic School is subject to certain requirements of Canon law established by the Catholic Church and which may supersede certain local, state, and federal laws regarding employment in certain circumstances. V. NONDISCRIMINATION AND PROHIBITION OF HARRASMENT AND BULLYING:

Eastside Catholic School does not discriminate with regard to an employee or applicant on the basis of any status or condition which is protected by an applicable law. As a religious institution, not all discrimination laws apply and Eastside Catholic may invoke its exempt status in some circumstances… Eastside Catholic’s purpose can be found in Part I of its Employee Handbook: Eastside Catholic School is a religious educational community based on the Roman Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, and the Catholic faith underpins every aspect of the Eastside Catholic experience, including employment relationships. The Employee Handbook further describes Employee Expectations: It is assumed that people who choose to work at Eastside Catholic do so because they share in the values of the Catholic Church, and the Mission of Eastside Catholic…
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 25
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 70.

*** …[T]he school is a Catholic school, and our faculty and staff must accurately and faithfully teach and express Catholic Church teachings and values at all times. Further, the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. The policy, values and teachings of the Catholic Church are solely determined by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, using its procedures… The Employee Handbook goes on to state that: Students will best achieve intellectual excellence, have meaningful relationships with others and with God, and become servant leaders, when they regularly observe and interact with staff and faculty members who are personally demonstrating the Mission and Touchstones at the School and through application in their own lives. If students hear one thing, but observe another thing, they may see hypocrisy or ambiguity, and may discount what is meant to be sound teaching. In answer to paragraph 70 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

averments contained in that paragraph to the extent the citation is incomplete. The Employee Handbook that Plaintiff received and signed prior to commencing his employment at Eastside Catholic states as follows: IV. ROLE OF CANON LAW:

As an institution formed to serve the legitimate Roman Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, Eastside Catholic School is subject to certain requirements of Canon law established by the Catholic Church and which may supersede certain local, state, and federal laws regarding employment in certain circumstances. V. NONDISCRIMINATION AND PROHIBITION OF HARRASMENT AND BULLYING:

Eastside Catholic School does not discriminate with regard to an employee or applicant on the basis of any status or condition which is protected by an applicable law. As a religious institution, not all discrimination laws apply and Eastside Catholic may invoke its exempt status in some circumstances… Eastside Catholic’s purpose can be found in Part I of its Employee Handbook:
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 26
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 71.

Eastside Catholic School is a religious educational community based on the Roman Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, and the Catholic faith underpins every aspect of the Eastside Catholic experience, including employment relationships. The Employee Handbook further describes Employee Expectations: It is assumed that people who choose to work at Eastside Catholic do so because they share in the values of the Catholic Church, and the Mission of Eastside Catholic… *** …[T]he school is a Catholic school, and our faculty and staff must accurately and faithfully teach and express Catholic Church teachings and values at all times. Further, the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. The policy, values and teachings of the Catholic Church are solely determined by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, using its procedures… The Employee Handbook goes on to state that: Students will best achieve intellectual excellence, have meaningful relationships with others and with God, and become servant leaders, when they regularly observe and interact with staff and faculty members who are personally demonstrating the Mission and Touchstones at the School and through application in their own lives. If students hear one thing, but observe another thing, they may see hypocrisy or ambiguity, and may discount what is meant to be sound teaching. In answer to paragraph 71 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

its website included a statement that was a portion of a more complete statement contained in the Employee Handbook. . The Employee Handbook that Plaintiff received and signed prior to commencing his employment at Eastside Catholic expanded on the statement on the website and states as follows: IV. ROLE OF CANON LAW:

As an institution formed to serve the legitimate Roman Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 27
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 73. 72.

children, Eastside Catholic School is subject to certain requirements of Canon law established by the Catholic Church and which may supersede certain local, state, and federal laws regarding employment in certain circumstances. V. NONDISCRIMINATION AND PROHIBITION OF HARRASMENT AND BULLYING:

Eastside Catholic School does not discriminate with regard to an employee or applicant on the basis of any status or condition which is protected by an applicable law. As a religious institution, not all discrimination laws apply and Eastside Catholic may invoke its exempt status in some circumstances… In answer to paragraph 72 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

its website included a statement that was a portion of a more complete statement contained in the Employee Handbook. The Employee Handbook that Plaintiff received and signed prior to commencing his employment at Eastside Catholic expanded on the statement on the website and states as follows: IV. ROLE OF CANON LAW:

As an institution formed to serve the legitimate Roman Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, Eastside Catholic School is subject to certain requirements of Canon law established by the Catholic Church and which may supersede certain local, state, and federal laws regarding employment in certain circumstances. V. NONDISCRIMINATION AND PROHIBITION OF HARRASMENT AND BULLYING:

Eastside Catholic School does not discriminate with regard to an employee or applicant on the basis of any status or condition which is protected by an applicable law. As a religious institution, not all discrimination laws apply and Eastside Catholic may invoke its exempt status in some circumstances… In answer to paragraph 73 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic admits that

it removed the portion of the Employee Handbook that was included on the website as it was not a full representation of the information contained in the Employee Handbook. . As to any

EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 28
319476

PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

remaining averments contained in paragraph 73 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 74. same. In answer to paragraph 74 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

Eastside Catholic’s mission states that it is a Catholic faith-based educational

community. Plaintiff’s expectations were further outlined in the Employee Handbooks that Plaintiff was provided and that Plaintiff signed prior to and during his employment. Specifically, Eastside Catholic’s purpose can be found in Part I of its Employee Handbook: Eastside Catholic School is a religious educational community based on the Roman Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, and the Catholic faith underpins every aspect of the Eastside Catholic experience, including employment relationships. The Employee Handbook goes on to state that: Employees of Eastside Catholic School are expected to honor and follow the teachings and values of the Catholic Church. In addition, they are expected to honor the Community Norms, Chain of Conflict Resolution Model and Communication Model listed below. As a Catholic, Plaintiff was aware of and was committed to the magisterium of the Catholic Church. Eastside Catholic has structural and organizational ties to, and oversight from, the Catholic Church and Seattle Diocese. Moreover, Eastside Catholic employees are expected to honor and follow the teachings and values of the Catholic Church. The Employee Handbook that Plaintiff received and signed prior to commencing his employment at Eastside Catholic expanded on the statement on the website and states as follows: IV. ROLE OF CANON LAW:

As an institution formed to serve the legitimate Roman Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, Eastside Catholic School is subject to certain requirements of Canon law established by the Catholic Church and
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 29
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 75.

which may supersede certain local, state, and federal laws regarding employment in certain circumstances. V. NONDISCRIMINATION AND PROHIBITION OF HARRASMENT AND BULLYING:

Eastside Catholic School does not discriminate with regard to an employee or applicant on the basis of any status or condition which is protected by an applicable law. As a religious institution, not all discrimination laws apply and Eastside Catholic may invoke its exempt status in some circumstances… In answer to paragraph 75 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

same. Eastside Catholic reasonably expected that its employees would rely and follow the teachings and values of the Catholic Church. As a Catholic, Plaintiff was aware of and was committed to the magisterium of the Catholic Church. Eastside Catholic has structural and organizational ties to, and oversight from, the Catholic Church and Seattle Diocese. Furthermore, the Employee Handbook that Plaintiff received and signed prior to commencing his employment at Eastside Catholic states as follows: IV. ROLE OF CANON LAW:

As an institution formed to serve the legitimate Roman Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, Eastside Catholic School is subject to certain requirements of Canon law established by the Catholic Church and which may supersede certain local, state, and federal laws regarding employment in certain circumstances. V. NONDISCRIMINATION AND PROHIBITION OF HARRASMENT AND BULLYING:

Eastside Catholic School does not discriminate with regard to an employee or applicant on the basis of any status or condition which is protected by an applicable law. As a religious institution, not all discrimination laws apply and Eastside Catholic may invoke its exempt status in some circumstances… Eastside Catholic’s purpose can be found in Part I of its Employee Handbook: Eastside Catholic School is a religious educational community based on the Roman Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 30
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 76.

the Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, and the Catholic faith underpins every aspect of the Eastside Catholic experience, including employment relationships. The Employee Handbook further describes Employee Expectations: It is assumed that people who choose to work at Eastside Catholic do so because they share in the values of the Catholic Church, and the Mission of Eastside Catholic… *** …[T]he school is a Catholic school, and our faculty and staff must accurately and faithfully teach and express Catholic Church teachings and values at all times. Further, the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. The policy, values and teachings of the Catholic Church are solely determined by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, using its procedures… The Employee Handbook goes on to state that: Students will best achieve intellectual excellence, have meaningful relationships with others and with God, and become servant leaders, when they regularly observe and interact with staff and faculty members who are personally demonstrating the Mission and Touchstones at the School and through application in their own lives. If students hear one thing, but observe another thing, they may see hypocrisy or ambiguity, and may discount what is meant to be sound teaching. In answer to paragraph 76 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

same. Plaintiff married his husband in contravention of the teachings of the Catholic Church, Plaintiff’s Job Duty, the Employee Handbook, and Eastside’s Catholic’s teachings. 77. In answer to paragraph 77 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

same. Plaintiff was aware of and was committed to the magisterium of the Catholic Church. Moreover, Eastside Catholic employees are expected to honor and follow the teachings and values of the Catholic Church. Eastside Catholic’s mission states that it is a Catholic faithbased educational community. Furthermore, Plaintiff was informed that if he accepted a position with Eastside Catholic, he would be responsible for promoting and teaching the
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 31
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

mission of the school. Eastside Catholic’s mission states that it is a Catholic faith-based educational community. Plaintiff’s Job Description states that he was responsible for assisting and ensuring an environment that fosters a Catholic Educational Community that he was to supervise and maintain teacher and staff files according to the Archdiocese of Seattle’s specifications. Plaintiff’s Job Description further states that he is responsible for supporting the Catholic doctrine and is familiar with the Employee Handbook. Plaintiff’s responsibilities were further outlined in the Employee Handbooks that Plaintiff was provided and that Plaintiff signed prior to and during his employment. Specifically, Eastside Catholic’s purpose can be found in Part I of its Employee Handbook: Eastside Catholic School is a religious educational community based on the Roman Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, and the Catholic faith underpins every aspect of the Eastside Catholic experience, including employment relationships. The Employee Handbook further describes Employee Expectations: It is assumed that people who choose to work at Eastside Catholic do so because they share in the values of the Catholic Church, and the Mission of Eastside Catholic… *** …[T]he school is a Catholic school, and our faculty and staff must accurately and faithfully teach and express Catholic Church teachings and values at all times. Further, the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. The policy, values and teachings of the Catholic Church are solely determined by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, using its procedures… The Employee Handbook goes on to state that: Students will best achieve intellectual excellence, have meaningful relationships with others and with God, and become servant leaders, when they regularly observe and interact with staff and faculty members who are personally demonstrating the Mission and Touchstones at the School and through application in their
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 32
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 same. 19 81. 20 same. 21 same. 80. same. 79. 78.

own lives. If students hear one thing, but observe another thing, they may see hypocrisy or ambiguity, and may discount what is meant to be sound teaching. Eastside Catholic reaffirmed Plaintiff’s responsibility in a letter sent to Plaintiff following concerns about Plaintiff’s Facebook page. Specifically, Eastside Catholic stated in the letter that: As we told you (and as stated in our handbook), the school expects that the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. You indicated that you understood this and that your intent is to comply with this requirement now and in the future. *** …Further, you are reminded of our handbook policies and the expectations stated above and advised that any failure to comply with them could lead to discipline, up to and including termination of employment. To indicate your acknowledgement of this letter and your commitment to comply with these policies and expectations, please sign this letter below and return it to us (you may retain a copy for your own files). In answer to paragraph 78 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

In answer to paragraph 79 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

In answer to paragraph 80 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

In answer to paragraph 81 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

COUNT IV 22 23 24 25 82. In answer to paragraph 82 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, the averments appear to call

for legal conclusions and thus Eastside Catholic defers to the court. As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 82 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same.
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 33
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

83.

In answer to paragraph 83 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, the averments appear to call

for legal conclusions and thus Eastside Catholic defers to the court. As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 83 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 84. In answer to paragraph 84 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, the averments appear to call There is a clearly

for legal conclusions and thus Eastside Catholic defers to the court.

mandated public policy of absolute protection for religious freedom and for religious organizations to exercise their freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief, and worship. As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 84 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 85. In answer to paragraph 85 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, the averments appear to call

for legal conclusions and thus Eastside Catholic defers to the court. The Employee Handbook that Plaintiff received and signed prior to commencing his employment at Eastside Catholic states as follows: IV. ROLE OF CANON LAW:

As an institution formed to serve the legitimate Roman Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, Eastside Catholic School is subject to certain requirements of Canon law established by the Catholic Church and which may supersede certain local, state, and federal laws regarding employment in certain circumstances. V. NONDISCRIMINATION AND PROHIBITION OF HARRASMENT AND BULLYING:

Eastside Catholic School does not discriminate with regard to an employee or applicant on the basis of any status or condition which is protected by an applicable law. As a religious institution, not all discrimination laws apply and Eastside Catholic may invoke its exempt status in some circumstances… As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 85 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same.
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 34
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

86.

In answer to paragraph 86 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, the averments appear to call There is a clearly

for legal conclusions and thus Eastside Catholic defers to the court.

mandated public policy of absolute protection for religious freedom and for religious organizations to exercise their freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief, and worship. As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 86 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 87. In answer to paragraph 87 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, the averments appear to call There is a clearly

for legal conclusions and thus Eastside Catholic defers to the court.

mandated public policy of absolute protection for religious freedom and for religious organizations to exercise their freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief, and worship. As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 87 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 88. In answer to paragraph 88 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

same. Plaintiff left Eastside Catholic because he married his husband. Eastside Catholic reasonably expects that its employees rely on and follow the teachings and values of the Catholic Church. As a Catholic, Plaintiff was aware of and was committed to the magisterium

16 of the Catholic Church. 17 oversight from, the Catholic Church and Seattle Diocese. 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 same. 91. In answer to paragraph 91 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 90. In answer to paragraph 90 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the 89. In answer to paragraph 89 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the Eastside Catholic has structural and organizational ties to, and

same. Washington recognizes a constitutional protection of religious freedom. There is a clearly mandated public policy of absolute protection for religious freedom and for religious organizations to exercise their freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment,
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 35
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

belief, and worship. Eastside Catholic has a substantial interest in employing persons whose beliefs and conduct are consistent with its religious precepts. As a Catholic, Plaintiff was aware of and was committed to the magisterium of the Catholic Church. As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 91 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 92. same. COUNT V 93. In answer to paragraph 93 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the In answer to paragraph 92 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

same. The Employee Handbook that Plaintiff received and signed prior to commencing his employment at Eastside Catholic expanded on the statement on the website and states as follows: IV. ROLE OF CANON LAW:

As an institution formed to serve the legitimate Roman Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, Eastside Catholic School is subject to certain requirements of Canon law established by the Catholic Church and which may supersede certain local, state, and federal laws regarding employment in certain circumstances. V. NONDISCRIMINATION AND PROHIBITION OF HARRASMENT AND BULLYING:

Eastside Catholic School does not discriminate with regard to an employee or applicant on the basis of any status or condition which is protected by an applicable law. As a religious institution, not all discrimination laws apply and Eastside Catholic may invoke its exempt status in some circumstances… In addition, Plaintiff was informed that if he accepted a position with Eastside Catholic, he would be responsible for promoting and teaching the mission of the school. As a Catholic, Plaintiff was aware of and was committed to the magisterium of the Catholic Church.

EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 36
319476

PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

94.

In answer to paragraph 94 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

same. The Employee Handbook that Plaintiff received and signed prior to commencing his employment at Eastside Catholic states as follows: IV. ROLE OF CANON LAW:

As an institution formed to serve the legitimate Roman Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, Eastside Catholic School is subject to certain requirements of Canon law established by the Catholic Church and which may supersede certain local, state, and federal laws regarding employment in certain circumstances. V. NONDISCRIMINATION AND PROHIBITION OF HARRASMENT AND BULLYING:

Eastside Catholic School does not discriminate with regard to an employee or applicant on the basis of any status or condition which is protected by an applicable law. As a religious institution, not all discrimination laws apply and Eastside Catholic may invoke its exempt status in some circumstances… 95. In answer to paragraph 95 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

same. The Employee Handbook that Plaintiff received and signed prior to commencing his employment at Eastside Catholic states as follows: IV. ROLE OF CANON LAW:

As an institution formed to serve the legitimate Roman Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, Eastside Catholic School is subject to certain requirements of Canon law established by the Catholic Church and which may supersede certain local, state, and federal laws regarding employment in certain circumstances. V. NONDISCRIMINATION AND PROHIBITION OF HARRASMENT AND BULLYING:

Eastside Catholic School does not discriminate with regard to an employee or applicant on the basis of any status or condition which is protected by an applicable law. As a religious institution, not all discrimination laws apply and Eastside Catholic may invoke its exempt status in some circumstances…
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 37
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Eastside Catholic’s purpose can be found in Part I of its Employee Handbook: Eastside Catholic School is a religious educational community based on the Roman Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, and the Catholic faith underpins every aspect of the Eastside Catholic experience, including employment relationships. The Employee Handbook further describes Employee Expectations: It is assumed that people who choose to work at Eastside Catholic do so because they share in the values of the Catholic Church, and the Mission of Eastside Catholic… *** …[T]he school is a Catholic school, and our faculty and staff must accurately and faithfully teach and express Catholic Church teachings and values at all times. Further, the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. The policy, values and teachings of the Catholic Church are solely determined by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, using its procedures… The Employee Handbook goes on to state that: Students will best achieve intellectual excellence, have meaningful relationships with others and with God, and become servant leaders, when they regularly observe and interact with staff and faculty members who are personally demonstrating the Mission and Touchstones at the School and through application in their own lives. If students hear one thing, but observe another thing, they may see hypocrisy or ambiguity, and may discount what is meant to be sound teaching. 96. In answer to paragraph 96 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

same. Prospective and current employees were informed that if they accepted a position with Eastside Catholic, they would be responsible for promoting and teaching the mission of the school. Prospective employees that visited Eastside Catholic’s website would be aware that Eastside Catholic is a Catholic institution with a Catholic faith-based educational community. Employees’ responsibilities were further outlined in the Employee Handbook that was provided
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 38
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

at the time of employment. The Employee Handbook that employees received and signed prior to commencing employment at Eastside Catholic states as follows: IV. ROLE OF CANON LAW:

As an institution formed to serve the legitimate Roman Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, Eastside Catholic School is subject to certain requirements of Canon law established by the Catholic Church and which may supersede certain local, state, and federal laws regarding employment in certain circumstances. V. NONDISCRIMINATION AND PROHIBITION OF HARRASMENT AND BULLYING:

Eastside Catholic School does not discriminate with regard to an employee or applicant on the basis of any status or condition which is protected by an applicable law. As a religious institution, not all discrimination laws apply and Eastside Catholic may invoke its exempt status in some circumstances… Eastside Catholic’s purpose can be found in Part I of its Employee Handbook: Eastside Catholic School is a religious educational community based on the Roman Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, and the Catholic faith underpins every aspect of the Eastside Catholic experience, including employment relationships. The Employee Handbook further describes Employee Expectations: It is assumed that people who choose to work at Eastside Catholic do so because they share in the values of the Catholic Church, and the Mission of Eastside Catholic… *** …[T]he school is a Catholic school, and our faculty and staff must accurately and faithfully teach and express Catholic Church teachings and values at all times. Further, the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. The policy, values and teachings of the Catholic Church are solely determined by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, using its procedures…
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 39
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

The Employee Handbook goes on to state that: Students will best achieve intellectual excellence, have meaningful relationships with others and with God, and become servant leaders, when they regularly observe and interact with staff and faculty members who are personally demonstrating the Mission and Touchstones at the School and through application in their own lives. If students hear one thing, but observe another thing, they may see hypocrisy or ambiguity, and may discount what is meant to be sound teaching. 97. In answer to paragraph 97 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic is without

knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of Plaintiff’s averments contained in that paragraph as Eastside Catholic cannot speak to the opinions of every parent and student. Eastside Catholic shares its mission of a Catholic faith-based educational The teachings of the Catholic Church are

community with all students and parents.

inextricably intertwined with the mission and purpose of Eastside Catholic’s curriculum and core values. At all material times hereto, there was, and still is, an Eastside Catholic webpage for students that includes a non-discrimination policy that applies to students. As to any remaining averments contained in paragraph 97 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 98. In answer to paragraph 98 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

same. Eastside Catholic’s association with the Catholic Church and mission of a Catholic faith-based educational community is well known to the public. Eastside Catholic promotes its 19 affiliation with the Catholic Church and its corresponding responsibility to the teachings of the 20 Catholic Church. At all material times hereto, there was, and still is, an Eastside Catholic 21 webpage for students that includes a non-discrimination policy that applies to students. As to 22 23 24 25 any remaining averments contained in paragraph 98 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the same. 99. In answer to paragraph 99 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the

same. Plaintiff was aware of and was committed to the magisterium of the Catholic Church.
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 40
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Moreover, Eastside Catholic employees are expected to honor and follow the teachings and values of the Catholic Church. Eastside Catholic’s mission states that it is a Catholic faithbased educational community. Plaintiff’s expectations were further outlined in the Employee Handbook that Plaintiff was provided and that Plaintiff signed prior to and during his employment. Specifically, the Employee Handbook states as follows: IV. ROLE OF CANON LAW:

As an institution formed to serve the legitimate Roman Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, Eastside Catholic School is subject to certain requirements of Canon law established by the Catholic Church and which may supersede certain local, state, and federal laws regarding employment in certain circumstances. V. NONDISCRIMINATION AND PROHIBITION OF HARRASMENT AND BULLYING:

Eastside Catholic School does not discriminate with regard to an employee or applicant on the basis of any status or condition which is protected by an applicable law. As a religious institution, not all discrimination laws apply and Eastside Catholic may invoke its exempt status in some circumstances… Eastside Catholic’s purpose can be found in Part I of its Employee Handbook: Eastside Catholic School is a religious educational community based on the Roman Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, and the Catholic faith underpins every aspect of the Eastside Catholic experience, including employment relationships. The Employee Handbook further describes Employee Expectations: It is assumed that people who choose to work at Eastside Catholic do so because they share in the values of the Catholic Church, and the Mission of Eastside Catholic… *** …[T]he school is a Catholic school, and our faculty and staff must accurately and faithfully teach and express Catholic Church
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 41
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 100.

teachings and values at all times. Further, the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. The policy, values and teachings of the Catholic Church are solely determined by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, using its procedures… The Employee Handbook goes on to state that: Students will best achieve intellectual excellence, have meaningful relationships with others and with God, and become servant leaders, when they regularly observe and interact with staff and faculty members who are personally demonstrating the Mission and Touchstones at the School and through application in their own lives. If students hear one thing, but observe another thing, they may see hypocrisy or ambiguity, and may discount what is meant to be sound teaching. In answer to paragraph 100 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies

the same. Eastside Catholic shares its mission of a Catholic faith-based educational community with all students and parents. The teachings of the Catholic Church are inextricably

intertwined with the mission and purpose of Eastside Catholic’s curriculum and core values. At all material times hereto, there was, and still is, an Eastside Catholic webpage for students that includes a non-discrimination policy that applies to students. As to any remaining

15 averments contained in paragraph 100 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies the 16 same. 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 101. the same. 102. In answer to paragraph 102 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies In answer to paragraph 101 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies

the same. Plaintiff was aware of and was committed to the magisterium of the Catholic Church. Moreover, Eastside Catholic employees are expected to honor and follow the

teachings and values of the Catholic Church. Eastside Catholic’s mission states that it is a Catholic faith-based educational community. Furthermore, Plaintiff was informed that if he accepted a position with Eastside Catholic, he would be responsible for promoting and teaching the mission of the school. Eastside Catholic’s mission states that it is a Catholic faith-based
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 42
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

educational community. Plaintiff’s Job Description states that he was responsible for assisting and ensuring an environment that fosters a Catholic Educational Community and that he was to supervise and maintain teacher and staff files according to the Archdiocese of Seattle’s specifications. Plaintiff’s Job Description further states that he is responsible for supporting the Catholic doctrine and is familiar with the Employee Handbook. Plaintiff’s responsibilities were further outlined in the Employee Handbooks that Plaintiff was provided and that Plaintiff signed prior to and during his employment. Specifically, Eastside Catholic’s purpose can be found in Part I of its Employee Handbook: Eastside Catholic School is a religious educational community based on the Roman Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic faith. The School has been formed to serve the Catholic religious value of providing a suitable Catholic education for children, and the Catholic faith underpins every aspect of the Eastside Catholic experience, including employment relationships. The Employee Handbook further describes Employee Expectations: It is assumed that people who choose to work at Eastside Catholic do so because they share in the values of the Catholic Church, and the Mission of Eastside Catholic… *** …[T]he school is a Catholic school, and our faculty and staff must accurately and faithfully teach and express Catholic Church teachings and values at all times. Further, the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. The policy, values and teachings of the Catholic Church are solely determined by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, using its procedures… The Employee Handbook goes on to state that: Students will best achieve intellectual excellence, have meaningful relationships with others and with God, and become servant leaders, when they regularly observe and interact with staff and faculty members who are personally demonstrating the Mission and Touchstones at the School and through application in their own lives. If students hear one thing, but observe another thing,
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 43
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 103.

they may see hypocrisy or ambiguity, and may discount what is meant to be sound teaching. Eastside Catholic reaffirmed Plaintiff’s responsibility in a letter sent to Plaintiff following concerns about Plaintiff’s Facebook page. Specifically, Eastside Catholic stated in the letter that: As we told you (and as stated in our handbook), the school expects that the public behaviors of our faculty and staff must at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. You indicated that you understood this and that your intent is to comply with this requirement now and in the future. *** …Further, you are reminded of our handbook policies and the expectations stated above and advised that any failure to comply with them could lead to discipline, up to and including termination of employment. To indicate your acknowledgement of this letter and your commitment to comply with these policies and expectations, please sign this letter below and return it to us (you may retain a copy for your own files). In answer to paragraph 103 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies

the same. Plaintiff left Eastside Catholic because he married his husband. Eastside Catholic reasonably expects that its employees rely on and follow the teachings and values of the Catholic Church. As a Catholic, Plaintiff was aware of and was committed to the magisterium of the Catholic Church. Eastside Catholic has structural and organizational ties to, and

oversight from, the Catholic Church and Seattle Diocese. 104. In answer to paragraph 104 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies

the same. Eastside Catholic shares its mission of a Catholic faith-based educational community with the public. At all material times hereto, there was, and still is, an Eastside Catholic webpage for students that includes a non-discrimination policy that applies to students. The teachings of the Catholic Church are inextricably intertwined with the mission and purpose of Eastside Catholic’s curriculum and core values.

EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 44
319476

PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

105. the same. 106. the same.

In answer to paragraph 105 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies

In answer to paragraph 106 of Plaintiff’s Complaint, Eastside Catholic denies

IV.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

BY WAY OF FURTHER ANSWER, Eastside Catholic denies each and every allegation and all causes of action contained in each and every paragraph of Plaintiff’s Complaint not heretofore controverted. Eastside Catholic further denies that Plaintiff is entitled to the relief sought in the Prayer for Relief in paragraphs 1 – 4, inclusive of Plaintiff’s Complaint. AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES By way of further answer, and without admitting any of the matters previously denied, the following affirmative defenses are asserted in good faith. They may be amended or deleted as information becomes available through the discovery process. 1. Plaintiff’s claims touch on issues of the nature, extent, and administration of the

religious ministry, including application of Canon law to the service of priests and clergy and 16 seminarians, and, therefore, are barred from consideration and/or are not actionable in this 17 forum pursuant to the mandates of the United States and Washington State Courts and 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 additional provisions regarding separation of church and state, pursuant to the Constitutional guarantees of the United States and of Washington, and pursuant to the religious exception. 2. Eastside Catholic is exempt from Washington’s Law Against Discrimination.

RCW 49.60.040(11). 3. Plaintiff has failed to comply with his duty to mitigate his alleged losses (his

entitlement to recovery for which is expressly denied); alternatively, any claim for relief must be set off and/or reduced by wages, compensation, pay and benefits, or other earnings or remunerations, profits, and benefits received by Plaintiff.
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 45
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

4.

Plaintiff has failed to state a claim against Eastside Catholic upon which relief

can be granted. 5. Damages, if any, sustained by Plaintiff were proximately caused by persons

other than Eastside Catholic and for whom Eastside Catholic has no responsibility, either direct or vicarious. 6. Eastside Catholic’s actions were at all times, reasonable, taken in good faith, and

without malice. 7. Pursuant to the laws of the State of Washington, Eastside Catholic is entitled to

an allocation of fault and/or damage and a determination of the proportionate share of entities/individuals causing damages for which recovery is sought. 8. 9. 10. Plaintiff has failed to comply with statutory provisions. Plaintiff has failed to exhaust administrative remedies. Damages, if any, sustained by Plaintiff were proximately caused by his own

actions or omissions so as to bar or reduce recovery herein. 11. This court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over some or all of the causes of

action alleged in Plaintiff’s complaint. 16 12. 17 were based upon legitimate, non-discriminatory, non-retaliatory reasons. 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 13. 14. 15. Plaintiff’s claims are barred by the doctrines of waiver and/or estoppel. Plaintiff contributed to or caused his alleged damages. Plaintiff’s injuries and damages, if any, should be apportioned among any entity The employment actions taken by Eastside Catholic with respect to Plaintiff

found to be liable or at fault. 16. 17. Doctrine of immunity and/or qualified immunity applies to Eastside Catholic. Plaintiff has failed to follow and exhaust all necessary dispute procedures and

remedies set forth in the Employee Handbook signed by Plaintiff. //
EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 46
319476 PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

RESERVATION OF RIGHTS Eastside Catholic reserves the right to assert additional affirmative defenses and/or counterclaims as may be warranted by further investigation of Plaintiff’s claims and as information is obtained through the discovery process. PRAYER FOR RELIEF WHEREFORE, Eastside Catholic prays for relief as follows: 1. 2. That the Court enter an order dismissing Plaintiff’s Complaint with prejudice; That the Court award Eastside Catholic its costs and disbursements in defense of

this action, including an award of attorneys’ fees, as allowed by law; and 3. That the Court award such other and further relief in favor of Eastside Catholic

and against Plaintiff as it deems just and equitable.

DATED this _____ day of March, 2014. PATTERSON BUCHANAN FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.

By:______________________________________ Michael A. Patterson, WSBA 7976 Andrew M. Weinberg, WSBA 36838 Of Attorneys for Eastside Catholic School

EASTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL’S ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES - 47
319476

PATTERSON BUCHANAN  FOBES & LEITCH, INC., P.S.  2112 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle   WA   98121  Tel. 206.462.6700   Fax 206.462.6701
• • •

 

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