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Woman Fired From Colorado Christian School For Living With Boyfriend

They fired her because she lived with her boyfriend, and of course she’s suing!

A Colorado woman claims she was unfairly fired from her job at a private, Christian liberal arts university after administrators asked if she was “living in sin” with her boyfriend. Ashlie Simpson, 31, was a student service advisor at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, Colo., from September 2009 until January 2012 when she was terminated.

“I was shocked to learn that CCU was concerned about my personal life, and even more distressed when they chose to fire me because of it,” Simpson told ABC news. “When they refused to discuss it further, I felt I had no choice but to take legal action.”

Simpson’s attorney, Elwyn Schaefer, said a coffee break may have sparked offensive questions about his client and her lifestyle by university staff. “We believe she was penalized for her lifestyle, mainly living with her boyfriend,” Schaefer said. “We had attempted to approach [the university] prior to filing a lawsuit and were told the usual, that our case had no merit and they would defend it vigorously of course.”

The suit, filed on May 2 with the Denver County District Court, states that Simpson and a married, male enrollment counselor had gotten coffee and donuts in the same car in June 2010; that incident led the vice president of development to express concern to Simpson about her alleged relationship with that married coworker – one Simpson said never existed — and subsequent questions about her personal life up until she was fired.

Simpson said as a student service advisor for the university’s College of Adult and Graduate Studies, she assisted continuing adult students, ages 23 and older, with questions about their degree plan and courses. “She was basically an administrative person,” Schaefer said. “She has a right to live her life outside the workplace as she wishes.”

Simpson is suing for damages for her lost back pay, front pay, future benefits, personal humiliation, and mental anguish. Simpson’s suit accuses the university on three points. First, she states the university interfered with her right to use FMLA and was terminated in retaliation for attempting to use FMLA for her medical condition.

“You’re entitled to FMLA for serious health conditions. They retaliated against her for taking FMLA,” Schaefer said. Second, the suit accuses the university of invasion of privacy after it disclosed facts about Simpson “that were private in nature” to the public “and were not of a legitimate concern to the public.” Third, the suit accuses the university of violating a state law against “unlawful prohibition of legal activities,” for being terminated for “lawful activity off the premises of the employer during nonworking hours.”

“It’s a form of discrimination pursuant to Colorado law,” Schaefer said about the university’s alleged inquiries and actions about his client’s relationship with her boyfriend.

Yeah that sounds like some straight discrimination to us.




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