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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
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Can a church restrict hiring of purely lay employees only to

Customer Question

Can a church restrict hiring of purely lay employees only to non-members of its denomination thus effectively discriminating against members of its denomination based on religious beliefs?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 2 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

While Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 normally prohibits any sort of employment discrimination based on sex, race, national origin, or religion, religious organizations are in the exception in that they are allowed to discriminate on the basis of their religion.

This has been expanded from clergy to include administrative and support positions such as janitors, kitchen help, secretaries, and so on.

While normally this is meant to exclude other religions, the reverse (however unusual) may be applied as well in that a religious organization can specifically require/exclude religion in applicants.

As such, the Church can do this.

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