Former La Canada Elementary School principal files gender discrimination lawsuit against district

LOS ANGELES >> A former La Canada Unified School District principal is suing her employer, alleging she was discriminated against because of her gender when she was demoted to a teacher and later put on indefinite leave, all because the superintendent was unhappy that the plaintiff announced she was pregnant shortly after taking the job.

Christine Castillo’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges sex discrimination and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. She seeks unspecified damages in the complaint filed Wednesday.

A LCUSD representative did not immediately reply to an email sent for comment.

According to the lawsuit, Castillo moved from Seattle in July 2012 to take the job as principal of La Canada Elementary School. A month later, she met with Superintendent Wendy Sinnette and told her she was pregnant, the suit states.

Sinnette reacted negatively and told Castillo, “This is really going to upset your staff and parents;” “I made it clear what this job required;” and “I need a drink,” the suit alleges.

Sinnette later told Castillo that the Board of Education was “disappointed” that the plaintiff “waited” to tell the superintendent that the plaintiff was expecting, according to the lawsuit.

Unable to get a clear answer from human resources about the maternity leave time she would be allowed, Castillo did her own research and found that as a new employee she was only entitled to 10 sick days and that she had missed the…

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