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Laura Battipaglia v. KIPP: Cooper Norcross Academy, CAM-L-2796-18

Client: KIPP: Cooper Norcross Academy Charter School

Court: New Jersey Superior Court, Law Division, Camden County

Brief Attorney:  Cameron R. Morgan, Esq.

**Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances**

In a disparate treatment theory case brought under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), a teacher/learning specialist at a charter school alleged gender, pregnancy, and disability discrimination after she was non-renewed from her position after taking an FMLA leave and extended disability leave due to her high-risk pregnancy.  The teacher claimed that her employment contract was non-renewed based on her intention to start a family within the first few years of her employment.

In advance of trial, the court granted summary judgment on behalf of the Defendant charter school and dismissed the claims, finding that (1) the Plaintiff failed to set forth sufficient evidence from which a reasonable jury could conclude she had satisfied the prima facie elements of discriminatory intent on the part of the school underlying the non-renewal, or that she was performing the functions of her position at a level that met the school’s legitimate expectations; and (2) the charter school had numerous legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for non-renewing her employment, including below proficient evaluation scores, improper use of “time-outs,” and poor classroom management skills.

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