Discrimination claim against Regis Catholic Schools dismissed - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Discrimination claim against Regis Catholic Schools dismissed

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Tim Nelson with Pope John Paul II Tim Nelson with Pope John Paul II

Eau Claire (WQOW) - A man who claims Regis Catholic Schools discriminated against him says he will appeal after his claim was dismissed.

Last April, Regis announced that Tim Nelson would become president of the school system.  The next month, Regis said it had hired someone else instead.  After the initial announcement, Nelson said he was questioned about his father's obituary.  Another man's name was listed next to Nelson's. 

Nelson said the man is a good friend.  He then filed the complaint, claiming the job was rescinded because of speculation that he was gay.

Wednesday, Regis Catholic Schools released a statement saying the Department of Workforce Development dismissed Nelson's claim.  Regis said the job offer was rescinded because of Nelson's lack of candor about his religious order experience.

Nelson says throughout the interviewing process, his years as a Franciscan brother were not questioned.  He claims no one asked him what the name of his religious community was at any time.

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STATEMENT FROM REGIS CATHOLIC SCHOOLS 

Regis Catholic Schools announces that on April 11, 2014, the Department of Workforce Development dismissed Mr. Timothy Nelson's claim that he was discriminated against because of his sexual orientation when the offer of the Regis Presidency was rescinded. The complaint was dismissed on both U.S. and State constitutional grounds.

As Mr. Nelson was consistently informed, the offer of employment was rescinded because of his lack of candor about the circumstances of his claimed religious order experience, and not because of sexual orientation or any claimed perceptions thereof. Out of respect for the confidentiality of both Mr. Nelson and the employment search process generally, Regis Catholic Schools declines giving any more specific information concerning the reasoning for its decision.

STATEMENT FROM TIM NELSON

It is my understanding that what the Regis Catholic Schools System is saying is that they rescinded my contract after I had singed it and the job offer based on a "lack of candor about the circumstances of his (my) claimed religious order experience."

I was a Franciscan Brother of the Sacred Heart for over 16 years.  A small Religious Community of Brothers that were in formation, first, under Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland, OSB, Archbishop of Milwaukee at the time from 1986 to 1996.  At the invitation for Bishop James S. Sullivan, DD, Bishop of Fargo, North Dakota, the Community moved to Fargo at the end of June in 1996 and remained under him until 2001.  Due to a lack of religious vocations, the community disbanded.

Throughout the entire interviewing process for the position of President for the Regis Catholic Schools System, my years as a Franciscan Brother nor the state of the community was ever questioned.  As a matter of fact, no one even asked me what the name of my community was at any time.  The only information shared with the search committee was what I shared with them, which was not much and they did not seem interested in what I had to say about the issue anyway.  Besides, I did not feel that my years or experience as a Religious Brother had any bearing on me getting the position as President for the Regis Catholic Schools System.  If this was clearly an issue about the "circumstances of my claimed religious order experience", then why didn't they ask me as many questions about the subject when I was being interviewed?

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