A church-operated school in Michigan adopted a policy "not to hire on a full-time basis those women who have preschool age children." On the basis of this policy, the school terminated a pregnant teacher upon the birth of her first child.
The former teacher filed a lawsuit charging that the school's action violated a state civil rights law banning sex discrimination in employment. A state appeals court agreed that the school's action violated a state civil rights law, and rejected the school's claim that such a ruling violated its constitutional right of religious freedom.
Eradicating sex discrimination, concluded the court, is a compelling governmental interest that overrode the school's right to practice its religion. McLeod v. Providence Christian School, 408 N.W.2d 146 (Mich. App. 1987).