Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Title VII Suit Against Church Body Can Move Ahead

In Edley-Worford v. Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church, (ED VA, Dec. 30, 2019), a Virginia federal district court refused to dismiss a Title VII claim by the former Director of Inclusivity and Lay Leadership Excellence in a church organization.  Plaintiff, an African American woman, claimed she was given an unfair workload in relation to those of her Caucasian co-workers and was fired when she complained to the Board of Laity and Personnel Committee. Defendants unsuccessfully raised defenses of the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine and the ministerial exception doctrine.