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Age Discrimination Law and Religious Organizations

Does federal age discrimination law apply to churches and religious schools?

Key point: Federal age discrimination law prohibits discrimination in employment decisions on the basis of the age of an applicant or employee who is 40 years of age or older. This law applies to some religious organizations.

• A federal court in Pennsylvania issued an important ruling on the application of federal age discrimination law to religious organizations. A chef formed a food service company and later entered into a contract to provide meals for a Catholic monastery. The chef served for ten years, and was then dismissed. A monastery spokesman explained the dismissal by stating that the quality and variety of food had deteriorated. The chef sued the monastery claiming that it violated the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which prevents employers with at least 20 employees and engaged in interstate commerce from discriminating in any employment decision on ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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Posted:
  • September 1, 1994

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