Iowa Employment Law Blog

Iowa Employment Law Blog

Alert and inform about legal issues, risks, and solutions relating to employees

Published By Patrick D. Smith

Category Archives: Religion

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Employment Discrimination Lawsuit Against Catholic Diocese of Sioux City Tests the Limits of the Ministerial Exception

Posted in Human Resources Compliance, Litigation and Trials, Religion
The CFO of Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools in Sioux City claims he was terminated because he is not Catholic.   He recently sued the Diocese, the school, and the Bishop alleging his termination violated the law against discrimination on the basis of religion. Does he have a case? Courts in the United States have uniformly recognized a… Continue Reading

Injunction Against HHS Coverage Mandate Raises Question Whether Employers Have Right to Religious Accommodation

Posted in Religion
Just days before the Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate went into effect, a federal district court in Colorado issued a temporary injunction exempting a Denver based company from its application. (See ruling in Newland v. Sebelius here). The controversial HHS rule requires all employer provided health coverage, with limited exceptions for certain religious organizations, to cover FDA approved contraceptive methods… Continue Reading

Supreme Court, Executive Branch Take Opposite Approach on Religious Accomodation

Posted in Human Resources Compliance, Religion, Title VII, U.S. Supreme Court
We have written many times here about an employer’s obligation to reasonably accommodate an employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs, so as not to unlawfully discriminate on the basis of their religion. Indeed, according to EEOC statistics, claims of religious discrimination by employees are increasing at a higher rate than most other forms of discrimination. Much less… Continue Reading

Are Employee Religious Freedoms in Jeopardy?

Posted in Religion, Title VII
There is an interesting op-ed in today’s Des Moines Register concerning religious discrimination in the workplace.   The author, Lake Lambert III,  is a professor of Religion at Wartburg College in Waverly.  He contends employees are subject to religious tyranny because Title VII does not give enough protection to employees’ ability to practice their religion at work. … Continue Reading

Religious Discrimination vs. Free Speech

Posted in Religion, Title VII
Late August means it’s time for the Iowa State Fair, one of the Top 100 Events in North America, home of corn dogs, the butter cow, and over one million visitors.  One of the interesting side-shows at this year’s fair involved the Des Moines Regional Transit Authority (DART), an atheist organization, and a Christian bus driver.  It all started when… Continue Reading

Update: Religious Discrimination

Posted in Religion, Title VII
Two recent cases out of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (which includes Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas, and North and South Dakota) serve as important reminders that employers should be alert to potential claims of religious discrimination and religion based harassment occurring in their work places: On July 31, the EEOC… Continue Reading