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Would a “Christian-only” hiring policy be legal in a manufacturing facility? If so, under what terms and what might be the restrictions?
As noted by Bagley and Savage (2010), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq.) prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, or sex (p. 469). A “Christian-only” hiring policy could easily be viewed as discrimination thus we must first examine if potential employees are protected under Title VII. In order to have protection under Title VII, the employer must be a “covered employer” and has fifteen or more employees for each working day in each of the twenty calendar weeks in either the current year or the past year. In addition, the company must be involved in an industry affecting commerce (p. 687, Harv. L. Rev., 1964-1965).
While the courts recognize two different types of claims under Title VII, disparate treatment and disparate impact,
From a Great Commission perspective, would a “Christian-only” hiring policy be advisable?
The Great Commission, found in the Gospel of Matthew, is a call for every Christian to spread the Good News, reach people, and share the Gospel. It is a personal calling from Jesus Christ to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19, NIV).
Any company that claims to be committed to the Great Commission should have not only a program for outreach and display active disciple-making, but should also attempt to reach “all nations”. When restricting the hiring policy to allow only Christians to be part of the staff, Matthew and Thomas would restrict the realm of reach to spread the word to people only outside the organization. Instead, if the hiring policy was not limited to Christians, the potential to make new disciples among the staff would be great especially if the company displayed a decidedly evangelical viewpoint while upholding a...
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