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Court Barred by “Ministerial Exception” from Deciding a Gay Pastor’s Discrimination Lawsuit

But the case illustrates the potential for a church being liable for sexual harassment or creating a hostile workplace.

Key Point 8-10.01. The civil courts have consistently ruled that the First Amendment prevents them from applying employment laws to the relationship between a church and a minister.

Key point 8-12.05. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It consists of both “quid pro quo” harassment and “hostile environment” harassment. Religious organizations that are subject to Title VII are covered by this prohibition. An employer is automatically liable for supervisory employees’ acts of harassment, but a defense is available to claims of hostile environment harassment if the employer adopted a written harassment policy and an alleged victim fails to pursue remedies available under the policy. In some cases, an employer may be liable for acts of sexual harassment committed by nonsupervisory employees, and ...

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Posted:
  • May 4, 2022

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