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The full case caption appears at the end of this opinion. OPINION Plaintiff-Appellant Leigh Cline (“Cline”) brought a pregnancy discrimination suit against Defendants-Appellees, Catholic Diocese of Toledo, et al., (“St. Paul”), under Title VII and Chapter 4112 of the Ohio Revised Code. She also asserted claims for breach of contract and promissory estoppel. Cline appeals the summary judgment granted by the district court in favor of St. Paul on all four claims. For the following reasons, we reverse in part and affirm in part. I. St. Paul Elementary and High School employed Leigh Cline as a teacher from June 1994 until St. Paul decided not to renew her contract after the 1995-1996 year. St. Paul is a parish of the Roman Catholic Church located within the Catholic Diocese of Toledo. The defendants-appellees in this case include St. Paul Elementary School, the Catholic Diocese of Toledo, the Catholic Diocesan School of Toledo and Father Herbert J. Willman. Father Willman is responsible for all religious matters within the parish, including oversight of the parish schools. After graduating from Bowling Green in 1993, Cline began teaching at St. Paul as an elementary substitute teacher. In June 1994, she was awarded a full-time eighth-grade teaching position for the 1994-1995 school year, assuming religion and math class duties, and also teaching high school math and coaching girls’ basketball. After her first year, the school renewed Cline’s teaching contract for the 1995-1996 school term and granted her request to teach the second grade. Cline’s position as a second-grade teacher involved significant training and ministry in the Catholic faith. She provided daily religious instruction to students, took students to Mass on a regular basis, and prepared her second-grade students for the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion. Cline acknowledged that her position at St. Paul required her to “build and live Christian community,” “integrate learning and faith,” and “instill a sense of mission” in her students. For each of her two years at St. Paul, Cline’s employment was governed by the standard St. Paul one-year employment contract (titled the “Teacher-Minister Contract”) (“Contract”) as well as the “Affirmations for Employment in the Diocese of Toledo” (“the Affirmation”), both of which she signed for each year. In addition to laying out basic terms of salary, duration and other routine aspects of the position, the Contract incorporates the provisions of the Affirmation document as part of its terms and conditions. The Affirmation outlines the ministerial responsibilities of the “teacher/minister,” including the following provisions: 1) a statement that the signer “believe[s] that the work of the Catholic Church, [its agencies] and institutions has characteristics that make it different from the work of other agencies and institutions;” 2) a statement that the signer will “work[] diligently to maintain and strengthen the Catholic Church and its members,” and that “[b]y word and example, [the signer] will reflect the values of the Catholic Church;” 3) statements that the signer believes in “mutual trust” and “open communication;” and 4) a statement by the signer that she “is more than a professional.” J.A. at 96. The Contract also incorporates the Teacher Handbook, which states that the mission of the school is to “instill in our children the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.” J.A. at 277. [FOOTNOTE 1] Neither the Teacher’s Handbook nor the Affirmation explicitly states, nor was Leigh Cline ever expressly informed–in writing, orally or otherwise–that premarital sex comprised a violation of the terms of either the Contract or the Affirmation. In the fall of 1995, Cline and her boyfriend (now husband) Tom Cline met with Fr. Brickner, the associate pastor of St. Paul Church, to discuss their intention to marry. The Clines married at St. Paul in February 1996. In early March, Leigh Cline informed the assistant principal, Stephen Schumm, and other St. Paul teachers that she was pregnant. Around late March or early April, Cline became visibly pregnant and began to wear maternity clothing to school. Based on his observation of Cline’s pregnancy, Fr. Willman correctly concluded that she had engaged in premarital sex. [FOOTNOTE 2] On learning that she had engaged in premarital sex, St. Paul officials did not immediately terminate Cline. Instead, Fr. Willman considered “all options,” including immediate termination. Ultimately, according to Fr. Willman, he decided that the most appropriate course of action was to permit Cline to continue teaching for the remainder of the school year, without renewing her contract after the year had finished. On May 3, 1996, Fr. Willman advised Cline in a conference that “under the circumstances,” the Diocese “would not renew her contract or hire her for the next school year.” According to Fr. Willman’s deposition, the “circumstances” he was referring to were that “Leigh [] became pregnant before she got married.” J.A. at 536. In a formal letter explaining the decision not to renew her contract, sent May 4, Fr. Willman wrote:
We expect our teachers to be good, strong role models for our children. . . . It is stated in your contract, working agreement that ‘by word and example you will reflect the values of the Catholic Church.’ . . . [P]arents in the community have serious concerns about a teacher who marries and is expecting a child 5 months after the wedding date. We expect teachers and staff members at St. Paul to observe the 6 month preparation time for marriage. . . . The Church does not uphold sexual intercourse outside of marriage. We consider this a breach of contract/working agreement.

J.A. at 313. Cline continued teaching at St. Paul through the end of the school year. Her child was born on July 10, 1996. Cline disputes some of St. Paul’s evidence about the events preceding her non-renewal. She argues that when Fr. Willman informed Cline of the decision not to renew, he only stated that it was due to her pregnancy so soon after marriage; according to Cline, he did not mention premarital sex. She also presents other evidence contradicting Fr. Willman’s assertion that, after discovering her pregnancy, the school decided to retain her only through the remainder of the 1995-1996 school year. In particular, Cline received a glowing Teacher Performance Evaluation on April 19,1996–nearly two months after the school concluded that she had premarital sex. In addition to noting her “successful” performance in almost all of fifteen objective criteria, Principal Schumm praised Cline for “adjust[ing] very well” to the “busy and changing year in regard to [her] classroom reassignment and personal life.” J.A. at 183. [FOOTNOTE 3] Finally, the evaluation implied that a contract renewal would be forthcoming for the following year, concluding: “Your class of 2nd grade students is well managed and respectful. I would expect continued growth for the 1996-97 school year.” J.A. at 183. On October 11, 1996, Cline filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC issued a Notice of Right to Sue, and on June 17, 1997, Cline filed her complaint in the district court claiming illegal sex and pregnancy discrimination under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. � 2000e et seq., and Chapter 4112 of the Ohio Revised Code. She also brought claims for breach of contract and promissory estoppel. On January 30, 1998, defendants filed their Motion for Summary Judgement. Finding that Cline had failed to make out a prima facie case of discrimination, the court granted summary judgment on April 3, 1998. This timely appeal followed. II. We review de novo a district court’s grant of summary judgment, using the same Rule 56(c) standard as the district court. See Terry Barr Sales Agency, Inc. v. All-Lock Co., Inc., 96 F.3d 174, 178 (6th Cir. 1996). Under that standard, summary judgment is appropriate where “the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). In deciding a motion for summary judgment, we assess the factual evidence and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. See National Enterprises, Inc. v. Smith, 114 F.3d 561, 563 (6th Cir. 1997). Merely alleging the existence of a factual dispute is insufficient to defeat a summary judgment motion; rather, there must exist in the record a genuine issue of material fact. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-50 (1986). III. A. Title VII’s prohibition on employment practices that discriminate “because of [an] individual’s sex,” 42 U.S.C. � 2000e-2(a)(1), applies with all its force to employers who discriminate on the basis of pregnancy. See 42 U.S.C. � 2000e(k); [FOOTNOTE 4] Shaw v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., 463 U.S. 85, 89-90 (1983); Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. v. EEOC, 462 U.S. 669 (1983); Boyd v. Harding Academy of Memphis, Inc., 88 F.3d 410, 413 (6th Cir. 1996) (“Congress manifested its belief that discrimination based on pregnancy constitutes discrimination based on sex.”). Thus, a claim of discrimination on the basis of pregnancy “must be analyzed in the same manner as any other sex discrimination claim brought pursuant to Title VII.” Boyd, 88 F.3d at 413. Such a claim requires that the plaintiff first establish a prima facie case of unlawful discrimination by showing that 1) she was pregnant, 2) she was qualified for her job, 3) she was subjected to an adverse employment decision, and 4) there is a nexus between her pregnancy and the adverse employment decision. See id. If the plaintiff successfully establishes a prima facie case, the burden of production shifts to the defendant to articulate a “legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason” for its actions. Id. (citing Texas Dep’t of Community Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 238, 253 (1981)). If the defendant fails to satisfy this burden, plaintiff prevails. If the defendant satisfies this burden, then the presumption of intentional discrimination is negated; the employee must then prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant intentionally discriminated against her. She may do this by showing that the “non-discriminatory” reasons the employer offered were merely a pretext for intentional discrimination. See id. The Congressional drafters of the 1964 Civil Rights Act recognized the sensitivity surrounding the status of religious groups and institutions. Thus, while Title VII exempts religious organizations for “discrimination based on religion,” it does not exempt them “with respect to all discrimination . . . . [] Title VII still applies . . . to a religious institution charged with sex discrimination.” Id.; see also Rayburn v. General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, 772 F.2d 1164, 1166 (4th Cir. 1985) (“Title VII does not confer upon religious organizations a license to make [hiring decisions] on the basis of race, sex, or national origin.”). Because discrimination based on pregnancy is a clear form of discrimination based on sex, religious schools can therefore not discriminate based on pregnancy. See Boyd, 88 F.3d at 413-14; Ganzy v. Allen Christian Sch., 995 F. Supp. 340, 349 (E.D.N.Y. 1998) (stating that restrictions on pregnancy “are not permitted because they are gender discriminatory by definition”); Dolter v. Wahlert High Sch., 483 F. Supp. 266, 270 (N.D. Iowa 1980) (stating that a school has violated Title VII if it terminates a plaintiff for pregnancy alone). In suits like Cline’s, courts have made clear that if the school’s purported “discrimination” is based on a policy of preventing nonmarital sexual activity which emanates from the religious and moral precepts of the school, and if that policy is applied equally to its male and female employees, then the school has not discriminated based on pregnancy in violation of Title VII. See Boyd, 88 F.3d at 414-15; Ganzy, 995 F. Supp. at 344; Dolter, 483 F. Supp. at 270. The central question present here, therefore, is whether St. Paul’s nonrenewal of her contract constituted discrimination based on her pregnancy or a gender-neutral enforcement of the school’s premarital sex policy. While the former violates Title VII, the latter does not. This is primarily a factual battle, to be resolved on summary judgment only if Cline presented insufficient evidence to create a genuine dispute over the relevant material facts. Because we find that Cline put forth sufficient evidence to create such a dispute, we hold that summary judgment was inappropriate. B. The district court granted St. Paul’s motion for summary judgment, agreeing with the school’s arguments on all four of Cline’s claims. First, the court found that Cline failed to make a prima facie case of discrimination under McDonnell Douglas because she did not satisfy the second prong required: showing she was qualified for the job. [FOOTNOTE 5] By engaging in premarital sex, she had violated both the Contract and Affirmation, and her promise under them “to live according to the principles of the Catholic Church.” J.A. at 332. Her own actions therefore rendered her unqualified for the teaching position. In making this conclusion, the district court reasoned that cases like Dolter, which rejected motions for summary judgment for similar pregnancy discrimination claims, were distinguishable because Cline had offered no proof that the premarital sex policy applied differently to men and women. In Dolter, such a showing was made. The district court next reasoned that even if Cline had made out a prima facie case, she had still failed to show that St. Paul’s “non-discriminatory” reason for the non-renewal was a mere pretext for pregnancy discrimination. In concluding so, the court parsed through the evidence of Fr. Willman’s statements, finding that they demonstrated that “it was [not] pregnancy that motivated the termination,” but the fact of premarital sex. J.A. at 338. The court distinguished the Ganzy case – where the district court refused to grant a motion of summary judgment for similar circumstances – by the fact that Ganzy had been able to show more decisively that the discrimination was rooted in her pregnancy. The court also set aside Cline’s breach of contract and promissory estoppel claims. The contract claim failed because the contract was “fully performed,” J.A. at 341, while the promissory estoppel claim failed because Cline did not show any detrimental reliance. C. Looking anew at the record, we conclude that the district court fundamentally misapplied the McDonnell Douglas test. 1. The Prima Facie Case First, the district court improperly rejected Cline’s prima facie case. In fact, the court’s analysis of the “qualified” prong improperly precludes Cline from being able to challenge the policy she claims to be discriminatory. This contravenes the very purpose for the prima facie stage set out in McDonnell Douglas and Burdine. The prima facie requirement for making a Title VII claim “is not onerous,” Burdine, 450 U.S. at 253, and poses “a burden easily met.” Wrenn v. Gould, 808 F.2d 493, 500 (6th Cir. 1987). This is because the prima facie phase “merely serves to raise a rebuttable presumption of discrimination by ‘eliminat[ing] the most common nondiscriminatory reasons for the [employer's treatment of the plaintiff].’” Hollins v. Atlantic Co., 188 F.3d 652, 659 (6th Cir. 1999)(quoting Burdine, 450 U.S. at 253-54). It is “only the first stage of proof in a Title VII case,” and its purpose is simply to “force [a] defendant to proceed with its case.” EEOC v. Avery Dennison Corp., 104 F.3d 858, 861-62 (6th Cir. 1997). This “division of intermediate evidentiary burdens” is not meant to stymie plaintiffs, but simply serves to “bring the litigants and the court expeditiously and fairly to the ultimate question.” Burdine, 450 U.S. at 253. The district court ignored these precepts when it held that Cline failed to make a prima facie case. In addition to setting a burden far too high, it conflated the distinct stages of the McDonnell Douglas inquiry by utilizing and crediting in its prima facie analysis the justification offered by St. Paul as its “non-discriminatory reason.” The court found Cline “unqualified” under prong two of the prima facie case because she had not lived up to the promises she made to “exemplify the moral values taught by the Church.” J.A. at 332. Because her pregnancy due to premarital sex meant that “she no longer met all the qualifications of her position,” even compelling evidence as to her qualifications (ie., her evaluations and teaching record) could not overcome these moral failings. J.A. at 333. Analyzed closely, this analysis has essentially imported the later, rebuttal stage of the McDonnell Douglas inquiry into the initial prima facie stage. As discussed infra, St. Paul alleges in its rebuttal that it did not renew Cline’s contract because she violated its premarital sex policy, which constituted part of the broader ministerial requirements of being a St. Paul teacher; Cline in turn argues that this rebuttal is a pretext for discrimination. But the logical coherence of the McDonnell Douglas test requires that the proper inquiry be whether the plaintiff is qualified for the position independent of the non-discriminatory justification produced by the defense (which the plaintiff argues is either discriminatory or a pretext for discrimination). Only this approach squares with Burdine’s explanation that the prima facie step serves to eliminate the most common nondiscriminatory reasons for the plaintiff’s rejection. See 450 U.S. at 254. More broadly, we are required by precedent to distinguish carefully between the prima facie stage and the rebuttal stage. In McDonnell Douglas and later cases, the Court has adhered with precision to the test’s architecture. See, e.g., St. Mary’s Honor Center v. Hicks, 509 U.S. 502, 506 (1993) (noting that Burdine and McDonnell Douglas “established an allocation of the burden of production and an order for the presentation of proof” to meet “the goal of ‘progressively sharpen[ing] the inquiry into the elusive factual question of intentional discrimination’”); United States Postal Service Bd. of Governors v. Aikens, 460 U.S. 711, 716-17 (1983) (chastising a judge for “erroneously focus[ing] on the question of prima facie case rather than directly on the question of discrimination”); Hollins, 104 F.3d at 861 (criticizing a district court decision which did not distinguish between the stages of the McDonnell Douglas inquiry). There are a number of reasons that conflating the distinct stages of the inquiry destroys the careful issue “sharpening” Hicks emphasizes, and risks halting the required inquiry prematurely. First, a plaintiff has more avenues to make her case for discrimination in the rebuttal phase than during the prima facie phase. See generally Hollins, 104 F.3d at 861 (noting the different amounts of evidence at the different stages). Moreover, the burden-shifting analysis of McDonnell Douglas exists, in part, to resolve “the disparity in access to information between employee and employer regarding the employer’s true motives for making the challenged employment decision.” Walker v. Mortham, 158 F.3d 1177, 1192 (11th Cir. 1998). Requiring a rebuttal by the defendant “frame[s] the factual issue with sufficient clarity so that the plaintiff will have a full and fair opportunity to demonstrate pretext.” Burdine, 450 U.S. at 255-56. A court that requires a plaintiff to show that a given standard is non-discriminatory before even requiring the defendant to produce its rebuttal is thus undermining the very purpose and structure of the McDonnell Douglas test. This is precisely what the district court has done in this case. Cline is thus correct when she argues that the district court’s approach would defeat the effort of any plaintiff to get beyond the prima facie stage. An example from a more straightforward employment suit clearly illustrates her point. For instance, were a female employee to challenge as intentionally discriminatory a test administered by her employer, a district court could not deem her unqualified at the prima facie stage simply because she failed the challenged test. To do so would constitute both importing and accepting the non-discriminatory reason offered by defendant (i.e., that the test is a non-discriminatory indicator of who is qualified for the position), and would cut off a plaintiff seeking to challenge that test before she could even make her showing that the reason is pretextual. The district court, by using St. Paul’s purported “non-discriminatory reason” as the measuring stick of Cline’s qualifications at the prima facie stage, has done exactly that. Such an approach defies the Supreme Court’s intent that this stage should pose only a low burden to plaintiffs, and should be distinct from the later rebuttal stage. The district court compounded this error when it stated that a plaintiff in Cline’s position could show she was qualified if she “were able to demonstrate some basis for a finding that the job qualifications” were discriminatory. J.A. at 335. In other words, the court would require plaintiffs to show in their prima facie case that the qualifications by which they are being measured — and which they are challenging – are themselves discriminatory. But forcing plaintiffs to make such a proof at the prima facie stage once again confuses the relatively light burden of making out a prima facie case with the later and more onerous task of showing by preponderance of the evidence that the defendant’s proffered reason is merely a pretext for discrimination. Once again, then, the court has plainly and improperly imported the rebuttal phase of the McDonnell Douglas test into the prima facie stage. And again, this conflation may prematurely terminate a plaintiff’s case since she generally has more opportunity to present evidence at the rebuttal stage than at the prima facie stage. Cf. Hollins, 104 F.3d at 861-62. Unsurprisingly, precedent within the pregnancy discrimination context also stands against St. Paul. Consistent with the analysis above, the legal battles in cases like this have largely been waged at the rebuttal phase, not the prima facie phase. In Boyd, the teacher’s qualification for the job was simply not a contested issue even though she violated the school’s extramarital sex policy. See 88 F.3d at 413. In Ganzy, the district court held plainly that the plaintiff was “qualified for the position she held and was satisfactorily performing her job” even though she had engaged in premarital sex in violation of the school’s religious principles. Ganzy, 995 F. Supp. at 359. [FOOTNOTE 6] In sum, both logic and precedent dictate that the district court reserve for the rebuttal stage its assessment of the justification St. Paul “produced” to explain its decision not to renew Cline. Here, the court has improperly applied that justification to defeat Cline at the prima facie stage. There is little reasonable dispute that Cline was otherwise qualified for the teaching position at issue. “In order to show that [s]he was qualified, [the plaintiff] must prove that [s]he was performing . . . ‘at a level which met [her] employer’s legitimate expectations.” McDonald, 898 F.2d at 1160. The evidence Cline presented of her two-year record of success, and in particular her positive April 1996 evaluation, is more than enough to meet this standard. The fact that the school allowed her to keep teaching for the remainder of the year further bolsters this showing. She thus successfully made a prima facie case. 2. Production and Rebuttal Because Cline has successfully made out a prima facie case, we next must consider the rebuttal phase: did St. Paul satisfy its burden of producing a non-discriminatory reason for the non-renewal, and can Cline meet her burden of establishing that this reason was a mere pretext? The district court concluded that St. Paul satisfied its burden of articulating a non-discriminatory reason. It also concluded that Cline did not successfully show that reason to be a pretext. While we agree with the first conclusion, we disagree with the second. (a) Burden of Production First, we agree with the district court that St. Paul successfully articulated a non-discriminatory reason for its actions. The burden on St. Paul “is to rebut the presumption of discrimination by producing evidence that the plaintiff was rejected . . . for a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason.” Burdine, 450 U.S. at 254. This is a burden of production; although “[t]he defendant need not persuade the court that it was actually motivated by the proffered reasons,” it must raise “a genuine issue of fact as to whether it discriminated against the plaintiff.” Id. To do this, “the defendant must clearly set forth . . . the reasons for the plaintiff’s rejection,” and that explanation “must be legally sufficient to justify a judgment for the defendant.” Id. at 255. St. Paul satisfied this burden by asserting that it did not renew Cline’s contract because she violated her clear duties as a teacher by engaging in premarital sex. This conclusion squares with Boyd and Ganzy, where schools articulated similar reasons as their motivation for termination. See Boyd, 88 F.3d at 414 (agreeing with the district court’s conclusion that the defendant “articulated a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason by stating that it fired plaintiff Boyd not because she was pregnant, but for engaging in sex outside of marriage”); Ganzy, 995 F. Supp. at 359 (stating that the defendant-school “discharge[d]” its burden of production when it “ stated that Ganzy violated its religious teachings by engaging in premarital sexual activity”). As in those cases, St. Paul has “simply explain[ed] what [it] has done [and] produce[d] evidence of legitimate nondiscriminatory reasons.” Burdine, 450 U.S. at 256. (b) Showing of Pretext. The presumption of discrimination having been rebutted, “the factual inquiry proceeds to a new level of specificity,” with Cline shouldering the burden of “demonstrat[ing] that the proffered reason was not the true reason for the employment decision.” Burdine, 450 U.S. at 255-56. This burden “merges with the ultimate burden of persuading the court that she has been the victim of intentional discrimination.” Id. Once again, therefore, Cline must answer the ultimate question: did St. Paul discriminate against her “because she was pregnant,” or “for engaging in sex outside of marriage” in violation of the school’s moral code? Boyd, 88 F.3d at 414; see also Ganzy, 995 F. Supp. at 349; Dolter, 483 F. Supp. at 270. Because Cline enjoys a “full and fair opportunity” to make this showing, Burdine, 450 U.S. at 256, she can pursue several avenues of discovery. First, she can show intentional discrimination directly by showing “that a discriminatory reason more likely motivated the employer” than the reason the employer proffered. Id. at 256. Second, she can indirectly show “pretext” by showing “that the employer’s proffered explanation is unworthy of credence.” Id. In the pregnancy discrimination context in particular, Cline also may show that St. Paul enforced its premarital sex policy in a discriminatory manner–against only pregnant women, or against only women. See Boyd, 88 F.3d at 414. This is because a school violates Title VII if, due purely to the fact that “[w]omen can become pregnant [and] [m]en cannot,” Ganzy, 995 F. Supp. at 344, it punishes only women for sexual relations because those relations are revealed through pregnancy. See also Vigars v. Valley Christian Ctr., 805 F. Supp. 802, 808 (N.D. Cal. 1992) (stating that an anti-premarital sex policy violates Title VII if it is enforced solely through observing pregnancy, because such a policy subjects “only women” to termination “for something that men would not be, and that is sex discrimination, regardless of the justification put forth for the disparity”). In other words, a school can not use the mere observation or knowledge of pregnancy as its sole method of detecting violations of its premarital sex policy. In assessing Cline’s attempts to show pretext, the district court far too hastily sided with St. Paul. Factually, this case is a tightly-waged battle. Cline presented a variety of concrete evidence casting into doubt the “reason” St. Paul proffered–that it decided not to renew her contract because she had violated its blanket policy against premarital sex. Most importantly, she presented evidence that the school continued to view her as sufficiently qualified to teach: the complimentary evaluation (mentioning both her “personal” and “professional” life), its consideration of other “options” for some time before opting to terminate her, and Father Willman’s suggestion in the record that “things might have worked out differently” had Cline notified him of her pregnancy sooner. She also produced some evidence showing the school may have focused more on the fact of her pregnancy than her sexual activity. For instance, she testified to conversations and produced statements in which school officials explicitly discussed her “pregnancy” rather than her sexual actions. Finally, Cline adduced evidence that the policy was not applied equally among men and women. St. Paul officials acknowledged in their depositions that Cline’s pregnancy alone had signaled them that she engaged in premarital sex, and that the school does not otherwise inquire as to whether male teachers engage in premarital sex. At oral argument, counsel for St. Paul conceded the same–that it was only Cline’s pregnancy that made it evident that she had engaged in premarital sex. These admissions raise an issue of material fact as to whether St. Paul enforces its policy solely by observing the pregnancy of its female teachers, which would constitute a form of pregnancy discrimination. No doubt, St. Paul may have sharp retorts to many of Cline’s factual claims. Indeed, many of its responses could well convince a trier of fact of its case. But at this stage in the trial, the district court’s and our role is not “to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter,” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249, but “to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial.” Id. To do so, the court must look at the evidence and make all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to Cline. See National Enterprises, Inc., 114 F.3d at 563. If, in that light, “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party,” a trial — and not summary judgment — is warranted. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. Observed in a light most favorable to her, Cline has clearly offered evidence sufficient to leap this hurdle. The district court’s contrary conclusion reflects an errant approach to the summary judgment stage. At each step of its analysis, rather than drawing inferences in Cline’s favor, the court credited St. Paul’s account over Cline’s. For instance, the court rebuts Cline’s statements that conversations with Fr. Willman centered on her pregnancy by finding that Fr. Willman “has explained that plaintiff’s pregnancy was significant only because it accurately demonstrated her decision to have premarital sex.” J.A. at 338. This disagreement is a crucial dispute over a key material fact; rather than reserving it for the trier of fact to resolve, the court has favored the school’s explanation. St. Paul asks us to do the same throughout its brief. [FOOTNOTE 7] This and other examples of crediting St. Paul’s factual contentions amid a genuine factual dispute fly in the face of the Supreme Court’s warning that the district court must not “weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter” at the summary judgment stage. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249. Finally, St. Paul’s frequent reliance on Boyd, which concluded that Boyd’s claim did not survive the rebuttal stage, does not help its argument here; indeed, that case bolsters Cline’s arguments. In Boyd, this Court did not review an order of summary judgment, but affirmed a bench trial decision. Its affirmance on the merits therefore provides no support for St. Paul’s arguments that Cline is not entitled to a trial at all. Indeed, the fact that the parties in this case have waged vigorous factual disputes over the central factors the Boyd Court considered in its holding–namely, whether the school applied its standards in a discriminatory manner, and whether the school’s policy was based on pregnancy or premarital sex–underscores that in this case there is a genuine dispute over the most important material facts. This further highlights the district court’s error in granting summary judgment. D. We also reverse the district court’s decision with respect to the discrimination claim under Ohio law. Ohio courts utilize the same McDonnell Douglas analysis described supra when analyzing discrimination claims brought under the Ohio Civil Rights Act, Ohio Rev. Code Ann. � 4112. See Ohio Civil Rights Comm’n v. Ingram, 630 N.E.2d 669, 672 (Ohio 1994) (holding that federal caselaw interpreting and applying Title VII is generally applicable to cases involving Chapter 4112); Plumbers & Steamfitters Joint Apprenticeship Comm. v. Ohio Civil Rights Comm’n, 421 N.E. 128, 131-32 (Ohio 1981) (applying McDonnell Douglas). This is no different for discrimination claims brought against sectarian schools. See Basinger v. Pilarczyk, 707 N.E.2d 1149, 1150-51 (Ohio Ct. App. 1997) (stating that the McDonnell Douglas analysis applies when teacher sues a sectarian school). For the same reasons that Cline is entitled to pursue her federal discrimination claim before a trier of fact, she is equally entitled to press on with her claim under Ohio’s Civil Rights Act. E. We agree with the district court that Cline’s contract claims are meritless. The contract itself was for a one-year term, to end on June 30, 1996, with no express or implied right to renewal. Its terms were fulfilled. Her promissory estoppel claim also lacks merit. To win under a theory of promissory estoppel, a plaintiff must show “detrimental reliance of the promisee upon the false representations of the promissor.” Karnes v. Doctor’s Hosp., 51 Ohio St. 3d 139, 142 (1990). Although Cline generally alleged that she was unsuccessful in finding work immediately after she was informed of her non-renewal, she presented no evidence showing that she detrimentally relied on the school’s implication that her contract would be renewed, or that she was injured by that reliance. Thus, the district court correctly granted summary judgment for St. Paul on her promissory estoppel claim. IV. When faced with a similar fact situation in Ganzy, Judge Weinstein of the Eastern District of New York concluded:

Plaintiff’s evidence . . . might lead a jury to find that the religious reason–premarital sex–for the termination is a pretext. Contrariwise, a jury might well find that [the school's decision was made] because [of] the school’s religious beliefs. . . . Or it might simply not believe the Plaintiff’s version of the incident. . . . Under such circumstances, a decision by a cross-section of the community in a jury trial is appropriate.

995 F. Supp. at 360-61. The situation in this case is no different. Cline has introduced sufficient evidence to make out a prima facie case, and sufficient evidence to call into question St. Paul’s proffered reason for her non-renewal. The law entitles her to make her case before a trier of fact. For these reasons, we REVERSE the district court’s summary judgment on the discrimination claims and AFFIRM on the contract claims. :::FOOTNOTES::: FN1 The Handbook describes the mission statement and broad philosophy of the school, and lays out more specific matters of school policy and administration, including describing teachers’ “religious responsibilities” (e.g., teachers are “expected to uphold, by word and example, all truths, values, and teachings of the Roman Catholic church,” J.A. at 277), general “staff policies,” “staff certification and other requirements,” and teacher salary and benefit provisions. J.A. at 277-94. FN2 In her deposition, Cline acknowledged that her pregnancy resulted from sex before her marriage. FN3 Father Willman stated in his deposition that he had read these positive evaluations. FN4 According to Section 2000e(k), the term “because of sex” means, among other things, “on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition.” 42 U.S.C. � 2000e(k). FN5 The district court stated that the first, third, and fourth prongs were satisfied. This is undisputed by St. Paul. FN6 We are unpersuaded by St. Paul’s broad reference to other discrimination cases where a plaintiff lost at the prima facie stage because he or she was not otherwise qualified for the position. See St. Paul’s Br. at 15. We do not question that there are instances where plaintiffs have lost at the prima facie stage because they were unqualified. But both cases that defendant points to, Ang v. Procter & Gamble Co., 932 F.2d 540 (6th Cir. 1991) (racial discrimination claim) and McDonald v. Union Camp Corp., 898 F.2d 1155 (6th Cir. 1990) (age discrimination claim), involve plaintiffs whose job performances were lacking for reasons independent of their claims of discrimination. The district court here, on the other hand, rejected Cline as unqualified because she failed to meet the very standard that she claims was used as a pretext for discrimination. St. Paul and the district court also point to the 1998 decision in the Northern District of Ohio as supportive precedent for the Court’s decision. See Gosche v. Calvert High School, 997 F. Supp. 867 (N.D. Ohio 1998), aff’d by 181 F.3d 101, 1999 WL 238649 (6th Cir. 1999) (unpublished decision). This reliance on Gosche is flawed. In Gosche, the court did indeed dismiss plaintiff’s claim under the “qualification prong”: because Gosche was having a sexual affair with a married man, she was not fulfilling a similar Affirmation to the Catholic school she worked for, and was therefore not qualified. Unlike Cline, however, Gosche did not argue that the policy which she failed to meet was a “pretext” for gender discrimination; she only argued that it was “not relevant” to her qualifications as a teacher. Id. at 871. The judge correctly concluded that it was. See id. at 872. If Gosche had asserted that the enforcement of the school’s policy constituted a pretext for gender discrimination, as Cline has in this case, then the district court would not have been able to use that alleged pretext to deem her unqualified for the position. As here, it too would have needed to assess that policy at the rebuttal stage. FN7 On a number of occasions, St. Paul simply favors Fr. Willman’s testimony over Cline’s. See, e.g., St. Paul’s Br. at 19-24. But this we cannot do on summary judgment.


Leigh Cline v. Catholic Diocese of Toledo UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT Leigh Cline, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Catholic Diocese of Toledo; Catholic Diocesan School of Toledo; St. Paul Elementary School; Herbert J. Willman, Administrator St. Paul Elementary School, Defendants-Appellees. No. 98-3527 Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio at Toledo. Argued: October 25, 1999 Decided and Filed: December 28, 1999 Before: JONES, MOORE, and GILMAN, Circuit Judges. Counsel for Appellant: David W. Leopold Counsel for Appellee: Gregory T. Lodge
 
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