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Religious Bias Lawsuit Against Louisiana College Settled

February 14, 2020

An alumnus who sued Louisiana College and claimed its president denied him a job because of his Jewish background has reached a confidential settlement with the college.

Jason Bonadona, who was interviewed and recommended for a football coaching position at the Baptist college in 2017, alleged in the lawsuit that Rick Brewer, the college president, said he did not want to hire Bonadona because of his "Jewish blood." Bonadona filed suit under Title VII of the federal 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employers from denying employment to applicants because of their race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The college tried unsuccessfully to get the case dismissed on technical grounds, arguing that Bonadona’s Jewish heritage does not qualify as a race or national origin under Title VII. Brewer also vehemently denied making the statement.

Although the terms of the settlement were not disclosed, the college issued a press release last month announcing "the cessation of litigation" and stating that the agreement was reached "in an effort to bring peace" between the two parties.

“This has been a difficult time for us all. However, in the spirit of Jesus, I acknowledge President Brewer’s position that he did not make any decisions about my employment with the College based upon my family’s Jewish heritage,” Bonadona was quoted as saying in the press release. “My attendance at Louisiana College changed my life. I hold the college in the highest regard. The resolution of this matter will allow the closure of this part of my life. I wish the Louisiana College family the best of luck in the future.”


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