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Is this religious discrimination?

Answers:1   |   LastAnswerAt:2011.05  

Asked at 2011.05.06 02:32:07
If I open a Christian store, a store that caters specifically to people who are seeking Christian goods like Bibles and gifts, then I would prefer to have Christian employees.
A young librarian told me that only hiring Christians for this job is religious discrimination, something I could be sued for.

Although the basic labor of stocking bookshelves and handling a cash register can be done by people of all and any religious mindset, the fact remains that not all of the people who enter my store will be looking for product. Many will be looking for information regarding Christianity. They will want somebody to pray with. They will be churches and religious organizations looking for like-minded individuals to discuss and plan events etc. A tremendous amount of the "customer service," for lack of a better term, will require a both knowledgeable and faithful person.
Somebody who is not a faithful Christian cannot pray with people or minister to people or, among other things, be a faithful Christian; however, these are things that people who enter a Christian store are looking for.
Accordingly, somebody who cannot satisfy that basic requirement that separates a Christian store from any other store, be it secular or otherwise, will not be qualified for a position.

That's fact, but I don't know what a lawyer will say about it...

Is there protection for religious retail organizations from religious discrimination charges because of the facts stated above? Or is there not?
answer Julia S  Answered at 2011.05.06 02:32:07
The above poster is correct. You cannot refuse to hire non-Christians if they are able to do the job without it. You absolutely can require a knowledge of the faith and merchandise.

The exceptions are as follows:
1. You have fewer than 15 people on the payroll for more than 20 or more weeks in a calendar year.
2. You are a church.

Religious corporations are NOT covered. So, if you plan on having only a few people on the payroll, you might be able to get away with it. However, if you think you'll have more than 15 people working for you regularly for a year, it's a no-go.
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