Teacher at London Orthodox nursery says she was fired for living with boyfriend


(JTA) — A teacher at a Jewish nursery school in London claims she was fired for living with her boyfriend.

Zelda de Groen, 24, is suing the Gan Menachem Nursery in Hendon, North London, for more than $26,000 charging religious and sexual discrimination, according to the British media.

The nursery for children under the age of 8 is described as “ultra-Orthodox” in the lawsuit.

DeGroen grew up in a haredi Orthodox home in Stamford Hill in London, but left “after many years of significant discontent.” She moved in with her boyfriend in April 2016.

De Groen, who has since married her boyfriend, said managers subjected her to a ‘humiliating’ hour-long interview in which they said it was time for her to get married, the Daily Mail reported. She also described their tone as “threatening.”

“I was told that having kids outside of marriage is wrong and will not be tolerated. Their comments, and the personal nature of the meeting, were humiliating,” she also said.

Two days after the meeting DeGroen asked her managers for an apology but instead was given a letter notifying her of disciplinary proceedings. She was fired a month later.

The Gan Menachem Nursery denies discrimination and says it acted on the recommendation of its human resources company.

The case is being heard at the Watford Employment Tribunal in Hertfordshire.

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