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Encountering Religion in the WorkplaceThe Legal Rights and Responsibilities of Workers and Employers$
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Raymond F. Gregory

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449543

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449543.001.0001

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Exemptions from the Discrimination Laws Granted to Religious Organizations

Exemptions from the Discrimination Laws Granted to Religious Organizations

(p.141) 12 Exemptions from the Discrimination Laws Granted to Religious Organizations
Encountering Religion in the Workplace

Raymond F. Gregory

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the Title VII exemptions from discrimination that are granted to religious organizations. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 exempts religious organizations from much of Title VII's prohibition against employment discrimination on the basis of religion. Schools operated by religious organizations were granted their own exemption. Thus Title VII authorizes religious organizations and schools to use religious preferences—preferences that would otherwise be discriminatory—in the employment process. This chapter considers a number of court cases that highlight the conflict between the interest of government to eradicate religious discrimination in the workplace and the right of the church to manage its own affairs without governmental interference. It also explores a host of issues such as whether the Title VII exemptions allow a school that teaches a certain religious faith to discriminate against an employee of another faith solely because her conduct does not conform to the mores of the faith taught by the school.

Keywords:   employment discrimination, religious organizations, Civil Rights Act of 1964, religion, religious schools, religious preferences, court cases, religious discrimination, Title VII exemptions, religious faith

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