Churches across the country are asking potential employees whether they were sexually abused and children on job applications — and can use an affirmative answer as a reason not to hire them, The Daily Beast
While asking such a question would be considered discriminatory illegal in commercial businesses, churches are legally getting away with it, the news website says.
The Beast's Zack Kopplin found that hundreds of churches ask applicants some variation on the question: "Were you a victim of abuse or molestation while a minor?"
"These groups want to know the personal histories of prospective employees in an attempt to protect themselves against liability for potential sex abuse scandals," Kopplin writes.
"[It's] based on the false belief that victims of sex abuse as children are destined to become abusers as adults."
Greg Lipper, a lawyer for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, tells The Daily Beast:
"Under the ministerial exemption, religious institutions are allowed to violate employment-discrimination law when hiring and firing their ministers.
"Not everyone who works for a church is a minister, but the exception applies to employees with significant religious responsibilities, including clergy and religious-school teachers."
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