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Exemption of Unemployment Services Doesn't Violate First Amendment

Terminated employee unable to sue church for lack of unemployment benefits.

Key point. The exemption of church employees from state unemployment compensation laws does not violate the First Amendment's Establishment or Free Exercise of Religion Clauses.

A Texas court ruled that the exemption of services in the employ of a church from the unemployment compensation system did not violate the First Amendment's prohibition of the establishment of religion. A church terminated the employment of its pianist and organist (the "plaintiff"). The plaintiff filed a claim for unemployment benefits. His claim was denied because he had not earned sufficient covered wages to establish a claim for unemployment benefits. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit arguing that exemption of church employment in establishing a claim of unemployment benefits violated the First Amendment's guarantees of the nonestablishment and free exercise of religion.


Under the Texas unemployment compensation ...

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  • December 22, 2014

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