Supreme Court Ruling Confuses Religious Workers

Published January 20, 2012 8:27AM (EST)

DETROIT (AP) — A Supreme Court ruling that appears to give wide leeway to churches and other religious organizations to decide who qualifies for an exemption to anti-discrimination policies has some employees of those institutions wondering whether they'd have any protection if they were fired.

The nation's highest court last week cited the "ministerial exemption" in denying government anti-bias protection to Cheryl Perich, a former Lutheran school teacher and minister in Redford Township near Detroit.

Rita Schwartz, president of the National Association of Catholic School Teachers, said the ruling leaves employees of religious-based institutions in an unsettled position.

Aleeza Adelman, a Jewish studies teacher at the New Orleans Jewish Day School, says she wonders whether the subject she teaches could make a difference in her treatment should a job-bias dispute arise.

By Salon Staff

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