Jump directly to the content

The Ministerial Exception and Lawsuits

A federal court in Washington ruled that the "ministerial exception" prevented it from resolving several claims against a religious organization.

Key point 8-06. The civil courts have consistently ruled that the First Amendment prevents the civil courts from applying civil rights laws to the relationship between a church and a minister.

Key point 8-08.2. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It consists of both "quid pro quo" harassment and "hostile environment" harassment. Religious organizations that are subject to Title VII are covered by this prohibition. An employer is automatically liable for supervisory employees' acts of harassment, but a defense is available to claims of hostile environment harassment if they have adopted a written harassment policy and an alleged victim fails to pursue remedies available under the policy. In some cases, an employer may be liable for acts of sexual harassment committed by nonsupervisory employees, and even non-employees.

Key ...

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • March 1, 2007

Related ResourcesVisit Store

2021 Church & Clergy Tax Guide (Book)
2021 Church & Clergy Tax Guide (Book)
The most comprehensive and authoritative tax guide available.
50-State Religious Freedom Laws Report
50-State Religious Freedom Laws Report
A review of state laws and court decisions affecting church leaders.