• A Kansas court concluded that a state “human rights commission” had no jurisdiction over a church-operated child care facility. A former employee of a church-operated child care facility filed a complaint with a state human rights commission, claiming that he had been terminated unlawfully by the church on account of her race and sex. The church argued that the state human rights commission had no jurisdiction over churches. A trial court agreed, and the case was appealed to a state appeals court. The appeals court also agreed that the human rights commission had no jurisdiction over the church. This conclusion was based entirely on the wording of the Kansas civil rights act which limits coverage to “nonsectarian corporations” and employers. This language left no doubt that “sectarian corporations” (including churches) are not covered. In rejecting the state’s argument that a church child care facility should be covered by the civil rights law even if a church is not, the court observed: “We believe it is reasonable to conclude that, if the purpose of the church is to honor and carry out the will of God; to carry on religious, educational, and missionary work; and to manifest the unity of the congregation’s faith in Jesus Christ as God and Savior, the child care program run by the church will attempt to meet those goals.” Zion Lutheran Church v. Kansas Commission on Civil Rights, 821 P.2d 334 (Kan. App. 1991).
See Also: Labor Laws
© Copyright 1993, 1998 by Church Law & Tax Report. All rights reserved. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is provided with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. Church Law & Tax Report, PO Box 1098, Matthews, NC 28106. Reference Code: m43 m11 m47 c0193