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Supreme Court Carves Out Religious Exception To Employment Laws

The U.S. Supreme Court has carved out a major exception to the nation’s fair employment laws. In a 7-2 vote, the court ruled on Wednesday that the country’s civil rights laws barring discrimination on the job do not apply to most lay teachers at religious elementary schools.

The case was brought by two fifth-grade teachers at California parochial schools who were fired from their job. Agnes Morrissey-Berru claimed age discrimination, and Kristen Biel said she was fired after she told her superior she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and would need some time off. If true, that would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The schools denied the allegations but maintained that regardless, federal employment laws do not apply to their teachers because they all are required to teach religion for 40 minutes a day in addition to other academic subjects.

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