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Religious Organizations Can Use Religious Discrimination in Employment Decisions

But only if discrimination is solely religion-based, court clarifies.

Key point: Under federal law, and the corresponding laws of some states, religious organizations have the right to discriminate in employment decisions on the basis of the religious affiliation of applicants.

• A federal court in Tennessee ruled that a church-operated preschool did not violate federal law when it dismissed an unmarried, pregnant preschool teacher. The school, which was affiliated with the Church of Christ, expects that its teachers will adhere to its religious tenets. All teachers are required to be Christians, and preference is given to those who are Church of Christ members. The school uses as its religious tenets the teachings of the New Testament, including the prohibition against sex outside of marriage. The dismissed worker knew that the school was a church-related school and indicated on her employment application that she had a Christian background and ...

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Posted:
  • November 1, 1995

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