Can you lose your job as a teacher for your religious beliefs?

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2021 | Education Law |

Freedom of religion is one of the most crucial civil liberties for those living in the United States. Your right to your faith has protection under the First Amendment. Many times, people take for granted their right to believe what they want and to worship how they wish. Your face may play a big role in your daily life, or it may simply be a tie to your cultural heritage.

Regardless of your personal approach to faith or the religion that you belong to, federal law protects you from discrimination based on your beliefs. Your employer should not make hiring or firing decisions based on your face or lack thereof. Does that same rule apply to teachers, or can you get fired for your faith as an educational professional?

Do you work in the public or private sector?

Determining whether a school has the right to terminate you or refuse to hire you based on religious beliefs alone will depend on the nature of the school. Public institutions generally cannot make any sort of discriminatory decision based on religion when it comes to employment.

However, there are private organizations that have the right to discriminate, as recently reaffirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court. A religious school may potentially use an applicant’s or employee’s religious beliefs as grounds for employment decisions.

Evaluating whether or not someone violated your rights by firing you or refusing to hire you because of your faith requires neutrality and an understanding of civil rights. If you can prove in court that your religion factored into an employment decision at a non-religious school, you will potentially have the right to take legal action as a wrongfully-terminated teacher.

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