College pays fired witch $40,000 to settle discrimination charge

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A former University of Nebraska employee who claimed she was fired for being a witch has agreed to settle her case for $40,000.

According to a letter from the unidentified woman's attorney reviewed by the Lincoln Journal Star, the plaintiff took a job in 2007 directing a youth program. But according to her complaint, an associate dean fired her after learning that she was a witch and that her religion was "Reclaiming Tradition of Witchcraft". She filed a complaint with the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission, which found reasonable cause to suggest that religious discrimination was a factor.

In a letter, the university said that the settlement was made "solely to compromise the claim ... without admitting the validity of plaintiff's contention or any allegations of wrongdoing by the defendants."

Settling wrongful termination lawsuits with witches seems like a fantastic use of money for a university that has cut $8.5 million in expenses this year to help cope with a precarious budget situation.

The real question though, to me at least, is why a witch would have to resort to the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission to exact revenge for a perceived slight. Couldn't she just cast a spell on the university's bank account and save herself some legal fees?

The message for employees and employers though is this: no matter how strange your employees' or coworkers' religious beliefs might seem to you, you absolutely cannot discriminate based on religion, ever.

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