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Enforced Moral Codes

Churches can impose scriptural or moral standards on their employees, and such efforts will be fully protected by the civil courts?o long as they do so fairly and uniformly.

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 8-08.1. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers engaged in commerce and having at least 15 employees from discriminating in any employment decision on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, or religion. Religious organizations are exempt from the ban on religious discrimination, but not from the other prohibited forms of discrimination.

* A federal court in New York ruled that church-operated schools can enforce "moral codes" on their employees, but only if they do so fairly and uniformly and not in ways that disproportionately and adversely affect persons (such as pregnant, since women) who are protected by employment discrimination law. A woman (the "plaintiff") ...

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Posted:
  • May 1, 2007

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