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Ecclesiastical Exception

Ecclesiastical Exception

Definition

Ecclesiastical Exception — also known as the "ministerial exception," the ecclesiastical exception is a legal doctrine that exempts religious institutions from antidiscrimination laws with regard to their employment relationships with "ministers." With a foundation in the First Amendment's protections of the practice of religion, the ministerial exception is an affirmative defense in the event that a religious institution is sued by one of its employees who qualifies as a "minister."

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