Saturday, August 28, 2010

Religious discrimination in parachurches?

WorldVision recently won its right to discriminate on the basis of religion from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. WorldVision receives nearly $1 billion (not a typo) from government sources that it distributes food and supplies to the needy around the world. Two employees, claiming they no longer believed in traditional Christianity, sued WorldVision. They claimed that religion had no role in their job duties at WorldVision. Since they were dealing with government funds, they believed that WorldVision was secular and could not require them to be traditional Christians. WorldVision, who enjoys church status from the IRS, demonstrated that its primary motive for assisting the poor came from its religious beliefs.

Religious organizations should review their employee handbooks, articles of incorporation, bylaws and statement of faith to determine whether they can qualify as a religious organization that is exempt from the religious nondiscrimination requirements in Title VII. In other words, what evidence do you have to prove that your activities are inherently religious?

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