An investigation by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has determined “there is reasonable cause to conclude” that fired Mount de Sales Academy band director Flint Dollar was discriminated against because of his sexual orientation.
The determination letter, dated Jan. 30, goes on to say that the commission will try to “eliminate the alleged unlawful practices by informal methods of conciliation.”
If a settlement isn’t reached, the EEOC may file a lawsuit against the private school in Macon or issue a “right to sue” letter, allowing Dollar to file a suit on his own.
Dollar, an openly gay man, filed the gender discrimination claim last year, alleging he signed a new contract May 1, 2014, to teach at the Catholic school for the 2014-2015 term. He was fired May 21.
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He contends the school discriminated against him because he didn’t conform to traditional gender stereotypes and was planning to marry his male partner.
The school’s president, David Held, declined comment Monday.
In a letter the school released last year, Held wrote that Dollar wasn’t fired because he is gay, but because same-sex marriage is against Catholic doctrine.
Dollar has said he informed the school of his marriage plans in October 2013, before he signed a new contract in May, and no one from the school raised an objection to the marriage.
Charles E. Cox Jr., Dollar’s lawyer, said Monday that the EEOC’s letter “is confirmation of what we believed in the first place.”
If the case isn’t settled, Cox said, “we will litigate it.”
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.