Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Court Applies Title VII Religious Institution Exemption

In Newbrough v. Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools, (ND IA, Feb. 23, 2015), an Iowa federal magistrate judge held that the provision in Section 702 of the 1964 Civil Right Act that exempts religious institutions from Title VII's religious discrimination provisions applies to the termination of the chief financial officer of the Sioux City Catholic schools in an administrative restructuring.  The school system replaced the CFO, a Lutheran, with a newly-hired Catholic employee to fill the downgraded position. The court held that the religious institution exemption applies even though the CFO's duties were not religious in nature.  The court refused to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff's state law religious discrimination claim. The Sioux City Journal reports on the decision.