Sunday, January 27, 2013

Suit Claims State Cannot Bar Religious Discrimination In Hiring At For-Profit Christian School

California's Fair Employment and Housing Act contains an exemption for non-profit religious associations or corporations. (Govt. Code Sec. 12940(j)(4)(B)). The Ventura County Star reported on Friday that two former teachers at a Christian school in Thousand Oaks, California have threatened to file a lawsuit challenging their firing. They were dismissed after they refused to provide Little Oaks School with a statement of faith and a reference from a pastor. The school is incorporated as a for-profit corporation, but is owned by the non-profit Calvary Chapel of Thousand Oaks. As a pre-emptive measure last Wednesday, the school filed a federal court lawsuit against the two teachers and their law firm attempting to enjoin them from filing a lawsuit in state court. The school argues that the California Fair Employment and Housing Act is unconstitutional insofar as it restricts a religious school's hiring practices, even when the school is incorporated as a for-profit institution.