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Age Discrimination and Religious Organizations

Court says religious organizations not applicable to most religious organizations.

Key point: The federal age discrimination does not apply to most religious organizations.

• A federal district court in Missouri ruled that it could not resolve a lawsuit brought against a synagogue by a former business administrator who claimed that he had been dismissed on the basis of age. The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits covered employers from discriminating in any employment decision (hiring, firing, etc.) on the basis of the age of any individual who is at least 40 years of age. The Act applies to any employer with 20 or more employees that is involved in interstate commerce. In deciding that the Act did not apply to the synagogue, the court relied on the Supreme Court's 1979 decision in N.L.R.B. Catholic Bishop of Chicago, 440 U.S. 490 (1979). In the Catholic Bishop decision, the Supreme Court ruled that in deciding whether of not a federal law ...

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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:
  • January 2, 1995

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