Supreme Court Expands Religious-School Exemption from Civil Rights Laws

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

David Barron spoke with SHRM about the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that two elementary school teachers at religious schools could not pursue their claims of age and disability discrimination. David said the ruling "is especially important to religious schools because of the recent opinion this term finding that Title VII [of the Civil Rights Act of 1964]'s prohibition of discrimination based on sex should be interpreted broadly to include sexual orientation and transgender status." He added, "That decision set up a debate over the extent to which religious schools would have to accommodate teachers or other employees whose lifestyles conflicted with the teachings of the religious institution. This decision today alleviates many of those concerns — rightly or wrongly — holding that teachers who are involved in religious instruction are largely exempted from anti-discrimination laws."

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