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Church Employee Dismissed After Making Accusations of Sexual Misconduct

Woman sues church for dismissing her after she complained against another minister.

Key point. The civil courts are compelled by the first amendment guaranty of religious freedom to refrain from interfering with the internal decisions of hierarchical churches, including decisions regarding the discipline or dismissal of clergy.
Key point. Some courts have concluded that the first amendment guaranty of religious freedom prevents them from interfering with the relationship between a church and its ministers, and this rule bars church liability on the basis of negligence for inadequately screening or supervising clergy.

The Colorado Supreme Court threw out a lawsuit brought by a woman alleging that her church acted improperly and unlawfully when it dismissed her after she made complaints of sexual harassment and child molestation against another minister. The woman alleged that between 1968 and 1975, when she was a minor, her stepfather committed various acts of ...

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Posted:
  • January 1, 1997

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