Flint Dollar, the openly gay former band director who was fired from a Catholic prep school in Macon last May because he planned on marrying his partner, has filed a federal lawsuit against the school.

Dollar filed a sex discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) last June. His attorney Charles Cox, cited Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as precedent. The EEOC determined in March of this year that reasonable cause existed to believe that Mount de Sales Academy discriminated against Dollar. Efforts by both parties to settle the matter failed, and Dollar filed suit.

“The suit is based on sex discrimination, specifically sexual stereotyping,” Cox tells Georgia Voice. “It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee because that employee does not conform to the employer’s traditional sex or gender-based stereotypes. One such gender stereotype is that men marry women.”

Cox says they are seeking back wages, compensatory damages, and punitive damages.

Mount de Sales Academy fired Dollar last year and cited his impending marriage at the time as the reason why, even though it was no secret that Dollar was gay and had had a longtime boyfriend. Dollar even notified school administrators of his sexual orientation during his job interviews in 2010.

The school’s handbook had a non-discrimination policy that included sexual orientation, but the contract he signed included a morality clause that the school may have used as grounds for Dollar’s dismissal.

Three members of the Mount de Sales Academy board of trustees resigned in the wake of the incident, and students and teachers rallied together to get the school to reinstate him but the school refused.

Dollar, who married his partner last July, has since taken a job as organist and music director at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Lewiston, a small town in upstate New York a few miles north of Niagara Falls.

Mount de Sales has been served with the lawsuit and they will file an answer, and then the discovery process will begin.

psaunders@thegavoice.com | @patricksaunders

 

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