Can a business owned by a church discriminate in the hiring proess based on religion?

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Can a business owned by a church discriminate in the hiring proess based on religion?

I recently applied to a a daycare that is backed by a church. It is not part of the church itself but a business owned by the church. It is a Christian daycare, and is run by my mother who attends the church. I have been been an active volunteer there for a year, and when there was a job opening I applied. They told my mother I had the job before I even got an application in, but asked me to turn one in just as a “formality” It then came to their attention that I do not attend church. (I’m not bitter about not being hired – my mom was there.)

Asked on May 25, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

This most likely was legal. Religious institutions and business owned by them enjoy a broad exemption from the Title VII prohibition against discriminating in employment on the basis of religion. They are allowed to discriminate in favor of members of their faith or church.


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