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Determing Disability Discrimination

Most courts have concluded that they are barred by the First Amendment from resolving challenges by dismissed clergy to the legal validity of their dismissals.

Key point 2-04.1. Most courts have concluded that they are barred by the First Amendment guarantees of religious freedom and nonestablishment of religion from resolving challenges by dismissed clergy to the legal validity of their dismissals.

* A federal court in Iowa ruled that the First Amendment guarantee of religious freedom prevented it from resolving a rabbi's claim that her dismissal violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and amounted to a breach of contract. A rabbi ("Beth") entered into an employment contract with a Jewish congregation for a period of three years. The contract specified that it could be terminated by the congregation for gross misconduct or an ongoing inability to perform the duties described in the agreement. According to the agreement, Beth's duties included leading religious services, serving as principal and teacher in the Hebrew school, visiting ill or ...

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