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Churches May Fire an Employee for Violating Moral Standards If Done Consistently

Key Point 8-12.4. 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. The Act permits religious organizations to discriminate in employment decisions on the basis of religion. This exemption permits such organizations to discriminate on the basis of moral or scriptural standards so long as they do so consistently and not in a way that adversely impacts employees who are members of a group that is protected under an applicable state or federal discrimination law.

A New Jersey court ruled that churches are free to dismiss employees for violating the church’s moral standards so long as they do so consistently and, for example, do not treat male employees who engage in extramarital sexual conduct more leniently than ...

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Posted:
  • April 30, 2019

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